Speaker, Writer, Academic.
Durham University Lecturer.
I do stuff for the BBC.
Feminist & lovely.
At the beginning of this year Forbes revealed another social media stat that, in 2015, spending on business applications of social media has (to coin an eagle) 'soared'. That's got to be up on 'social media hype' and 'undeniably powerful tool' reported at the climax of 2014. That's up at least 205-flim-flam% on previous reports and T.S. Eliot, yes he, described such obsession as “Distracted from distraction by distraction." Ok, Eliot really did say that, and you can easily meditate on his words re. social media.
To give a real quote, Alain de Botton (Swiss born, British based Philosopher), “We are continuously challenged to discover new works of culture—and, in the process, we don’t allow any one of them to assume a weight in our minds.” That's taking social media effect pretty seriously. Quite the utopia of obsessive excellence and tagging our social networks have become.
Now that 'everyone' is using social media, perhaps time to turn to doyen of content and most respected and prominent profile in the field. Is a dog.
Marnie, the dog, has become the doyen of social media content.
Even if you are yet to enjoy @marniethedog on instagram; @MarnieTheDog on Twitter; Marnie The dog on Facebook... you're still going to get some whimpering and appreciation of the method, the presence, the content and (yes) the promotion. I remember from my PR days that ”Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for."¹ Those were the times of gut-driven, roll-up-sleeves-and-get-on-with-it-super-manipulators with overdeveloped equal parts gratitude and horror of appearing too self-involved or too 'promoter-y'.
Among the UK's close-to-5,000 PR agencies, I suppose there must be one, maybe even two, who aren't like that. And they're not making any money.
The other way to hit your stride with promotion via social media is through tyranny. Raising up a profile with content hovering halfway between bad taste and unimaginable luxury is the domain of the Kardashian's. Though they have been known to 'stop'. You have to admire their method, the promotion works for them and may be a more effective way to silence their aspiration for the White House than pandering to their bottom of campaign out-takes.
All hail the 'soaring 'power of social media.
Yet it is Dog who reigns supreme. With the right combination of fantastically portrayed canine portraiture and poses, you can have a very bright social media future. If you're a dog with a tale (see what I did there), who's been down on your luck, has an exceptionally brilliant tongue, cheeky eyes and a waggy tail, you're probably at the top of the social media threshold that would tear down a Kardashian nudist party.
The days of "dogs are for life" are now behind us; now its: "Meet my dogs agent and I'm too busy to play sticks cos i've a book deal. It's given me Pedigree-fun." Ah, and so dogs are for social media.
Concurrent with other attempts to inform social media strategy with respect to maximum promotion there is a paucity of evidence pertaining to the impact that social media has on consumer behaviour, consumer-related boredom, and the efficacy of advertising regulations to minimise PR incentives. Not that this stopped the Kardashian's.
There appears to be an overwhelming portrayal of social media as a normative, legitimate social activity, at the expense of highlighting the potential risks involved (see Alain for more). Furthermore, new marketing techniques utilising social media are able to instil emotive and positive attitudes towards really boring brands and products, as well as enabling consumers to widely share and recommend across communities- sometimes exposing those friends who don't like Marnie The Dog!
Social media mean nothing concrete. Social media simply reflect the omni-channel promotion potential to help brands / products / people / services and dogs emerge into the chaotic unfairness of the networked marketplace.
We do no favours by overplaying spurious statistics, but we gain a lot from following Marnie The Dog. Long may she reign, Queen of Social Media and all that she surveys.
¹Forbes (again) ripped this off here