Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Black Licorice Theory

“We're like licorice. Not everybody likes licorice, but the people who like licorice really like licorice.”
― Jerry Garcia

I recently re-read a friend's book on "PUSH marketing". From what I could ascertain there were two main themes in his book:
  1. Quantity not Quality
  2. Ideas must be Commercialized to gain adoption
.....I emphatically disagree with both of these misguided principles!

Far too often in the Social Media space, I see users with 10,000 followers who produce no relevant material. Therein lies the problem. The people with great content shy away from social media because they see the aforementioned popularized user producing irrelevance. The system is broken. Trending topics do not encompass specialized content, popular users are not experts, and the opportunity of thought leadership sharing has been trumped by the commercialization of ideas.

Introducing the Black Licorice Theory:
  • Quantity is a smokescreen
  • The experts have been forced into Lurkerland
  • Personal connection is all that matters
You have 10,000 followers....what does that really mean?
I read an article a while back about how to use LinkedIn. The well-intended author gave bullet pointed advice on how to gain followers. All points probably would enhance one's profile....Now you have another 100 followers, most of them independent staffing professionals.

Following the PUSH marketing strategy on LinkedIn commoditizes your life's work. Once you commoditize yourself your differentiated relevance is forever gone. Now you cannot attract the people with whom you actually want to connect.You are a person not a product.

Why I don't use Facebook
I am a self-professed social media evangelist. Admittedly, I don't have a Facebook profile. Like so many, I fell victim to the frustration of irrelevance. Tons of content - all vapid to the point of enticing me to rip my eyeballs out. Unfairly, I forever wrote off Facebook as a thought conveyor for the thoughtless.

Today, a one day Facebook advertisement generates more attention than a Super Bowl commercial. The collective of Facebook users is the third largest nation in the world. Unfortunately, the marketers forecasted these amazing statistics, commoditized a Facebook strategy, and squandered an opportunity to make meaningful connections.

One (is not) The Loneliest Number!
It takes an incredibly intelligent person to assess social media before they jump in.

There is only one piece of advice I can give you:
Be Yourself

You cannot pretend to be of a certain professional ilk to impress your buying public. Best case scenario, you actually get to meet them and they discover your masquerade. Then you have wasted your time and you have blown your credibility. Don't pretend to be someone you are not.

Honesty and Negativity are different concepts. I remember attacking someone on my friend's blog who had insulted my intelligence. When I revisited the feed I realized that I had been disregarded. A thousand people viewed my tirade and all of them knew better than to justify it with a response. In the right social forums the villagers rule with dignity and empower you to act accordingly. With great power comes great responsibility!

In the movie Office space, Michael Bolton compromised his integrity to impress his assumed future bosses. He sold himself down the river in an effort to keep a job he didn't want in the first place. It is the ultimate lesson in compromise. If your goal is to be regular, achievement is inevitable.

Business is driven by new ideas. Truly innovative ideas are very hard to come by. All you have is your unique thought and it is imperative that you protect it. No one ever changed lives by selling out.

PUSH Marketing sucks! Black Licorice is Delicious!

Don't Forget to Remember!


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