Startups often have to deal with one or all of three big issues: lack of capital, brand recognition and product penetration. While these are real threats and pose the biggest risk to success, startups often have advantages that cannot be found in large, established companies. Educating talent on these benefits helps them make an informed decision between the bright lights of the behemoth and the siren's call of the startup. So, what exactly are these benefits?
Twitter is the latest in a string of companies putting users at the whim of hasty policy changes and a rapid monetization policy put in place for IPO. You want to use it? Pay for it. While there's technically nothing wrong with this idea -- Twitter is a company and they should make money -- the fact that they're still alluding to the impression that all users have an equal opportunity in achieving influence is just inaccurate.
Because, I don't know about you, but I'm starting to really get tired of living in a world that facilitates and celebrates the culture of crass and the glorification of stupid. And make no mistake about it. While stupid is everywhere, nowhere is it more pronounced than on the web these days. Mainly because it's easy, it's free, it's everywhere, and it's the fastest route to notoriety and fame. There's good stuff out there. Stuff that both manages to communicate something good and entertain at the same time. One doesn't cancel out the other. It's not an either/or proposition. We just need to sift through the flotsam rising all too often on the top of the information cesspool to get to it.
If you're a parent, you've probably by now seen the cocky, controlling, pretty weird letter written by Kim Hall to all teenage girls her teenage boys may ever come into contact with online. Letters like the one Mrs. Hall wrote to teenage girls are a prime example of how rape culture perpetuates itself in today's society in an insidious and innocent-looking way.
To the untrained eye, social media numbers are important. However, if you delve, you'll notice inconsistencies. For example, a band may have a ton of "followers", but few likes on their photos. Alternately, a band may have lots of Soundcloud plays on a particular song, but few comments. Do not let buying popularity become the new form of radio DJ payola.
Know what's really great about Facebook and Instagram? No slanegirl. On Aug. 18, some undoubtedly intoxicated teens engaged in public oral sex at an Eminem concert. Photos were taken, shared and posted within minutes. At least two guys were instantly heralded across the web as heroes (literally), but the 17-year-old girl involved met an entirely different fate: within minutes she was globally famous as #slanegirl. Twitter, tumblr and Google erupted with photos. At lightning speed she was named, shamed, then hospitalized and sedated. So much for equality.
There is yet another chain message going around the Facebook ranks, this time involving moms. While I understand, and even support, what I feel the author's intended message is, I don't think that a poorly-written and typo-laden chain letter can sum up motherhood. So I'm forced to ask myself -- yet again -- why Facebook is so stupid.
Facebook can be a powerful way to target potential and current customers, track the ROI of your campaigns down to the penny, and grow your business' influence. But, sadly, I keep seeing companies make the same few mistakes over and over again when it comes to their Facebook marketing. Here are the most common and how to avoid them.
Parents: Facebook is not in the business of raising my child, nor should you expect Facebook to raise yours. It is not the responsibility of Twitter to make sure my child behaves well online -- it is my responsibility to make sure my child behaves in any environment. If we want major change, it will not come from laws or banning people from websites; it will come from parents, communities, and schools to engage in dialogue and education to raise children who have an understanding of digital citizenship and accountability for their online and offline actions, because accountability and respect still matter.
Do you ever leave a voicemail for someone and get an email back? Have you had people text you while you're in a meeting and then get grumpy if you don't immediately respond? Different communication styles can be generational or cultural. Wherever they come from they're important and they will materially affect your career success.
Before you start lighting up those pitchforks and come after us marketers with a mix of mass hysteria and moral panic, take a look at your own online behavior and ask yourself, which scenario you prefer? Go to Amazon and start shopping (presuming you have been there before), and ask yourself, "what is the experience like?"