It started when I heard about an ex colleague who works for a car company now and his bonus is solely tied to the likes he gets the company page on Facebook. Then I thought about Occupy Wall Street. And then the modern primitive movement as it relates to the “sharing economy” and whether primitive “values” work in the modern world.
What is one culture’s currency is another’s utility. Consider that Dutch settlers bought Manhattan for some iron kettles, axes, knives, and cloth. (Whether the tribe they bought the land from actually owned it is another discussion.) But Occupy and the traders of Wall Street they thought to shame had the same sort of challenge: they basically valued different currencies. And so neither really respected—or cared about—what the other held dear. The occupiers in the park had nothing but time since they were un- or underemployed so the time they spent had no value or opportunity cost and thus no impact on their target audience.
Currency is a system of money that has a mutually agreed upon value. Where there is no agreement, there is no value. So what is the value of Facebook “like” or a retweet? As a marketing guy, it seems highly subjective and very hard to defend because for some users/people, it’s as disposable as Kleenex for others, invested and believing in the sharing economy, it reflects on their reputation and is very valuable.
So when clients ask, what their social media presence or strategy should be, I say it should always begin with their customers and understanding their relationship to social media. Is it a click or a reflection of the value they hold dear? Do they choose reputation over quick money? Who are the stakeholders in their business model? Which tribe is your or client’s audience? Create the strategy that fits.
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