If you don’t know what this is a picture of – and you’re in the communications industry – read on.
As advertising, marketing and public relations continues to move into the social age, it has become necessary for all working in these worlds to be able to talk Social Media shop – whether you’re on the account side or creative. The topic of Social Media – and best practices – is ever present in meetings: with clients, with vendors and internally.
And let’s be clear – Social Media is a pretty volatile and opinionated space. There is no ‘Bible’ for social media that is not tied to someone trying to sell you services or advertising. Everyone is ready to label themselves or someone else the next ‘Guru’ or ‘Expert’ and there is always someone around the corner snickering about those labels while comparing Klout scores and follower ratios. The fact of the matter is that Social Media is here and it is not going away (in some form) for a long time.
Is Facebook going to be around in 5 years? Probably. But I can say with great confidence that Twitter will be. Fair or not, Twitter is my personal litmus test for professionals in the communications industry. When I meet someone professionally (or even personally), my first follow up is to Google that person’s name with the word ‘Twitter’ and see what comes up. I believe that if you are serious about what you do, Twitter is ground zero for staying up to speed on what is going on.
In the early days of the internet, message boards were the interest graph. Twitter has replaced the message board – and greatly improved on it. It is Social in it’s most simplest and important sense. Stripped down to 140 characters, it comes down to how well you can succinctly communicate with someone. (Isn’t that what communications professionals are supposed to be ‘experts’ in?) It is not a popularity contest. It doesn’t care where you went to college, who you work for, what year you met your wife, or if you are tagged in a photo at the most recent Tough Mudder. Professionals create their own personal brand tweet by tweet.
If you are reading this and not on twitter, here are simple directions in 140 characters or less: Get on Twitter and start learning more about what it is important to you and your profession. It really is that simple. Once you master your own personal brand – imagine what you can do for your clients.
~ Jaime Hamel, @StopHamelTime & Digital Strategist at The S3 Agency
PS – It’s a Twitter fail whale. Are you?