I was in, I’d say, about third grade. I was sitting in my Social Studies class and we were looking at two different accounts of the same battle. The accounts were completely different, and yet both men had been at the battle.
“How could that be?” The teacher asked us in a “I’m going to guide you” kind of way.
I pondered the question. In the end, we ended up discussing that people can perceive things in all kinds of different ways. It shapes how we tell stories, and it shapes what we believe.
This was in third grade, mind you.
Maybe some Social Media folks need to go back to Social Studies
So, I’m sitting here a million years later, reading various blog posts. Tell me if any of these made-up headlines of mine ring any kind of bell.
“I’m right! And I should know, I’m the expert!”
“That person who said that is so stupid like woah!”
“If you think that doing that activity is a good idea, then you probably also smell funny.”
Sadly, I’m barely exaggerating.
Let’s look at some current debates and see how multiple people could be right, shall we?
Charging for content: So, you have some folks who say, “Oh Em Gee. I totally can’t believe that person is charging for that. That’s totally stupid.” Then you have other folks who say, “Heehee, that’s so cute, that person isn’t charging for anything. Too bad they’re on the path to wrong-ness.”
Why both parties are right: Making money is a good thing. I enjoy making money. I enjoy getting paid for doing things that are sort of, how do you say, “worky.” On the other hand, it’s also nice to help people without asking them for money, and if you are offering guidance that isn’t robbing from your primary mode of work, you can enjoy that luxury.
Say it with me. You both could be right!
Who “owns” Social Media? This one kind of reminds me of the big fight scene in Anchorman, if you’re familiar with such things. “PR owns Social Media!” “No no, anyone who believes that PR owns Social Media is a daft punk. Marketers own the Social Media world!” “Oh, puhlease. OBVIOUSLY customer service owns Social Media.”
Why they’re all right: Maybe it’s my Cherokee blood, but I don’t really believe that anyone apart from Mark Zuckerberg can own Social Media. That point aside, most people in business could claim ownership of the online world. PR can control a company’s reputation through Social Media. Marketers could promote products and/or services through Social Media. Customer Service can do a great job of functioning in the online world (although I must say Twitter’s online support, which uses Twitter, kinda stinks).
Say it with me. You all are right.
Klout: I look at Klout about as seriously as I look at some of the spammy emails I get regarding “how to grow.” A lot of people argue a lot about Klout. There are people who, like me, feel that they need Klout like they need a non-stop auto-start CD of Rebeca Black’s Friday. There are other people who monitor their Klout score incredibly carefully.
Why you’re all right: There are a lot of unanswered questions about Klout that even Klout fans have yet to find answers to. For example, how much does Klout weigh the actual quality of your interactions in contract to the quantity? Also, Klout is a metric that may not matter to someone like me who is more concerned about building relationships that can exist beyond the online world. However, a lot of people use Klout in really interesting ways, like making sure they are interacting with people enough. I think that’s great and innovative.
Say it with me. You’re all right!
ROI: OK, peoples. Looky here. Now, you have some people out there who say that Social Media ROI can’t be measured because it’s all about squishy lovey-dovey kumbaya kind of stuff. This drives the other folks bonkers. They think that Social Media ROI must be measured and needs to become more measurable.
Why you’re all right: There are some facets of ROI that actually can’t be measured. For example, if your investment is time, and the return is a lifelong friend that you gained along the way while you were working on business stuff, then the squishy people have a win, don’t they? On the other hand, if you’re trying to make money, and you’re investing time that you need to pay for via salaries or time not doing other things, then you’d better have a way to see if that investment is paying off.
Yep. You’re both right.
I realize that this might break your heart. It’s hard to say “I’m an expert” and then also say, “You might be right even though we disagree.” Give it a try though. The third graders are, anyway…
This is post #39 in the Engagement Series. You know what 39 means? Almost 40! 🙂
Image by Annie Andre. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/femmeannie