A YEAR OF NOISE: ADVENTURES IN SOCIAL MEDIA
I'm a bit of an introvert, truth-be-told
I'm the kind of person who feels some weird kind of relief when plans with - even people I really like - get cancelled, and I dread large group social outings because I can find it quite intense. Nevertheless, I started this blog in January 2016 - determined to push myself out of my comfort zone (out from behind the stage where I just pulled the curtain ropes) - and create and curate valuable, 'no BS' digital marketing insights (alongside trying to attract a few new freelance clients).
Part of the deal with publishing content is promoting it, and so out of necessity I've been more active on social media than ever in the past 12 months; accumulating tons of connections with people working in the field of digital marketing. I've made a real effort to be proactive and responsive, and to a degree, it's really paid off. Engagement with my content has continued to build, and I've attracted enquiries about my freelance work on a regular basis. I've also connected with some brilliant marketers who have kindly let me feature their blog on this very site. So lots of lovely people out there.
What I didn't anticipate is me gaining more of an understanding about the ways in which my own activity is processed by others. This is my favourite example, following a tweet I posted:
THERE'S. SO. MUCH. TO. SORT. THROUGH.
Part of the deal in making a commitment to social is browsing multiple news feeds on a daily basis to 'consume' content. It has been an interesting experience and a compulsive habit to adopt - I've found myself naturally looking out for certain people's updates more than others. I've also entered into the odd debate about various incidental things, like levels of professionalism when managing a LinkedIn group, for example - which led me to write this blog.
I think I've become much better at distinguishing between the genuine stars and trailblazers of digital, the promising talent of the future, and the mere pretenders - who focus on promoting themselves and the "brand of them" first and foremost - rather than offering genuinely useful content to their peers. The latter seem to regard themselves as the finished product too - there's nothing more for them to learn.
The posts most irritating to me include:
- Professional marketers broadcasting photos of themselves proudly pouting and sticking their chests out on LinkedIn because they managed to dress themselves without any help that morning
- Plenty of the whole "In the face of much adversity, ermagerrrhd, I'm a company owner who drives a nice car, wears a rolex, look and my house, and blah..."
- Pointless and irritating inspirational quotes posted as images. This brings me out in a rash
- Marketers banging on in groups with inaccurate and/or slightly dated digital advice for others
Maybe I'm just a broken individual who can't process this stuff, but I basically minimise it all - and in some cases hit 'unfollow'.
It's not all c**p though
Through becoming more 'present' on social media, I've gained access to a large quantity of high quality insight, where I've extracted really valuable advice - which I can then apply to aspects of my own job. I'm the first to admit that, despite being a marketer for over a decade, and a digital manager for the last few years, I'm still learning new things about the field all the time.
I think this is a healthy thing to admit.
To that end, I'm continuously trying to improve my knowledge about tactics and strategy. Digital is such a behemoth of a subject now - I doubt any one person knows everything about it, and further to that, manages to stay up to date with all of it, because the field is evolving all the time.
Let's end THIS BLOG with a bit of fluff
I've been lucky enough to witness interesting and/or entertaining and/or clever posts where digital marketers are getting their content or their employer's content across. These status updates are inspiring and makes me glad to be working in the field I'm working in.
Here are a few of my highlights from the past year or so:
Below: One for GoT fans:
Above: A refreshing post to combat the utter, utter cheese sometimes present on LinkedIn.
Above: Posted by a genuine marketing manager this century.
Below: A great example of why you should check how your hashtag reads before you start using it:
WHAT ABOUT THIS YEAR?
In short, I'm going to continue making the effort - especially with developing the content on this site. I've got a couple of great industry figure interviews lined up over the coming months, so watch this space. :)