Be Pliable

a recipe for successful collaboration

1984 Never Comes

on 11 Mar 2012


Source: 3 News

I think “important points are always made sotto voce” as tweeted before.

Let me explain it. When people try to persuade or perhaps manipulate others, they tend to go to extremes with loud voice both physically and metaphorically. Such exaggeration is an effective gimmick and can mostly work well. But never ever any truth is there. For those who seek some authenticity or sincerity, it’s just falling into an object of ridicule. If it’s gone too far, oversimplification goes beyond ridicule and always becomes a nice joke, like “four legs good, two legs bad” from Animal Farm.

When it comes to political or sales campaign, the reason is simply due to the innate inability of old media to effectively reach the mass audience, who are originally diverse individuals. Therefore, as I mentioned in the last post, it had been more or less the only approach to make up a new category and throw in prospective targets, instead of respecting our individuality. This is the most ominous and heart of Orwell’s message. Simon Mainwaring, author of We First, put this more gentle way. “In advertising, we fabricate the relationship between the brand and its customers. In social media, you let it happen organically.”

Yes, social media ensures the means to reach diverse audience without distorting our nature, and customers are keen to help business – sounds promising. But, let’s look at a bigger picture. In We First, Mainwaring explained why “the private sector can be the third pillar of social change to help out government and philanthropy”. To me, this is far more natural and realistic a solution to make the world a better place, lying between purely benevolent and greedy organizations or philanthropic and government practices. Thanks to social media, if each of us consumers wants to do some social good we don’t have to take lots of risks but just ask our favorite brands. Because now businesses should know that “one of the most powerful ways to be meaningful to your customers’ lives is to demonstrate a concern for something greater than yourself” said Mainwaring.

Social media not only figuratively democratized our consumer relationship but literally did our society. Governments don’t need to manipulate citizens for their nations. People don’t need to stand up to a revolution for their lives. Now we can talk. But furthermore and more importantly, we don’t need to be allergic to pursuing profits when we want to do something ethically good for the world because that’s how social good can be done. This is a real individualism and revolution.

So, is the future brighter than 1984? I firmly believe so, and this is the fundamental motive for studying social media.

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