I always write about how businesses can take advantage of opportunities on Social Media. However, there is a side of social media that is having an adverse impact on young people, and they do not even understand what is happening.
A few days ago I made a post on social media saying that Schools in the Caribbean need to teach their students how to use social media since it can damage their careers in the future. Since then, many people reached out to me to share their own experience and thoughts on that subject. However one in particular really got me thinking.
I have been consulting a lot with clients lately about their social media strategies and something over the past few weeks; something stood out to me. Lots of entrepreneurs do not understand some of the fundamentals of using Social Media for business. I never thought that I would find myself trying to convince a “Marketer” to put out content that has practical value for clients. I didn’t think I would have to say to a digital entrepreneur that you need to have a Facebook page to run ads. I didn’t know that I will have to convince someone who spent the last six years in marketing that developing thought leadership will not negatively affect you. I couldn’t understand how being known as an expert in your field will reflect poorly on you. Nevertheless, these are some of the things I had to deal with, so today I decided to write this post for all the awesome people out there doing social media right.
This week on “How They Did It” I talked to Timothy “Timmay” Bain, Bahamian award-winning media entrepreneur and Vlogger. Timmay talks about how he founded 3 Amigos Media with his friends, the sacrifices he had to make to get to where he is today and how he was able to overcome being a student and acquiring all the equipment needed for his business by sacrificing lunch money and doing part-time jobs. Timmay didn’t finish College like his business partners. He dropped out to focus fully on his company 3AM in late 2014 and ended up finding jobs as a Social Media Coordinator for BTC and Marketing Brand Representative for KALIK. He also grew up on New Providence.
“I was in primary school, and we had a school trip. You told me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go because you couldn’t afford it. I understood the situation, so I didn’t make a fuss, but you saw how much I wanted to go. I told my friends I wouldn’t be there. I woke up the morning of the trip started doing my housework as usual, and you walked up to me and said. “Go bathe, you going on the school trip” and you handed me the money. I don’t know what miracle you worked, but this is one of many memories that I will cherish and appreciate as long as I live. Happy Mother’s day Janice Corion, thanks for always being there.”
As I look back on my working life, whether it was working as the Officer in Charge at Grenada Public Service Credit Union now called Ariza Credit Union or later in financial services in Canada. I have always had a side hustle. During those times, I was just making some extra money, either writing business plans or social media marketing. I did my undergraduate degree in Economics; I never thought I’d now be working in digital media, much less doing a Master of Digital Media. However, my love for digital media grew as I got deeper into my side hustle. Now my side hustle has taken over my life.
The 2017 SMART START Youth Summit is an initiative led by a multicultural group of young Canadians. The Summit will engage diverse young Canadian friends and supporters to honor and celebrate young Canadians of African and Indigenous ancestry; and young Canadians in need of societal support, including newcomers.This opportunity is an all expenses paid (including meals and transportation),weekend,daytime retreat for youth aged 13-24.
Last week, I attended a workshop held by the Transmedia Zone at Ryerson University. The host for the event was Douglas Rushkoff, one of the best media theorist today and author of the books “Programme or be Programmed” and “Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus”. One of the many things he spoke about that was of interest to me was the issue of virality and what causes stories to spread. The topic of virality piqued my interest because it centers on rapidly and widely sharing information online which directly aligns with my Major Research project for my Master of Digital Media program.
In his presentation, Mr. Rushkoff indicated that stories go viral when the content that is being shared exists, but its story is not being told or a conversation about it is to be had. He illustrated his point with the example of Rodney King, an African-American taxi driver who was beaten by officers of the Los Angeles Police Department in 1991. According to Rushkoff, the main reason why King’s story went viral was not because it was recorded and disseminated in the media; instead, it reached the far corners of the world because his experience shed light on an unfortunate issue that existed that finally got exposed. Mr. King’s beating brought the story of police brutality and how police dealt with African Americans in the Unites States of America to the fore. It was widely known that police cruelty was a problem in the black community; however, the act was never caught on tape and publicized until then. So because someone recorded Rodney King’s beating, it was enough to spark a response from the black community. With the tape as an overwhelming piece of evidence, people were prepared to spread it to get the conversation on police brutality started.
I was reading a book called “Spreadable Media” by Henry Jenkins et al., and it is in direct contrast to Mr. Rushkoff. In his book, Jenkins mentions that content and stories spread online when people take part in a conversation that is already taking place. Interestingly, Jenkins even used the writings of Rushkoff to justify his position. Consequently, when given the chance to ask for clarity and seek Mr.Rushkoff’s stance on the matter, I pointed out the two points of view to him at which point he made it known that he does not agree with Jenkins. He stated that he does not think that content spreads when it’s part of an ongoing or existing conversation; instead, it has greater reach when it is part of a conversation that people are not currently having.
Personally, I think both men have a point, and my belief merges the two concepts. I believe virality results when non-mainstream content that many know exist is shared. Consequently, it gives people a voice to express themselves based on what their experience or what they see while evoking the feelings of others that empathize, share the same attitudes or concerns, or in some cases contradict their opinions which then lead to greater sharing or spread of information. Therefore, in the simplest sense, if at least one other person can relate to or denounce something I believe is worth sharing, the individual might share the content as a means of consciously or subconsciously showing solidarity for a common opinion or possibly as a show of opposition. Others then become exposed to the information and the cycle of sharing continues.
I hope to work with brands and communities to help them create their stories and spread them to the masses. Currently, I am doing some more research into this idea of why stories spread online. I am quite excited about this area, and once my research is concluded, I will share my findings.