Why anti social media rants simply don't work -even for the Bieber

It seemed that everyone was having a moan at their audiences yesterday for not behaving properly. 

Justin Bieber sent out orders on Snapchat to his Beliebers that they should not harass him for a photo if he didn’t feel like it. 

"The way you ask or approach me when you want a photo with me is going determine if I take a photo or not,” he warned.

“If I’m walking somewhere or arriving somewhere and you guys are asking me to take a photo, if I don’t respond, if I continue to keep walking, the likelihood is that I probably don’t want to take a photo at that moment.

“If you start screaming louder that’s not going to make me take a photo more.” Everybody got that?

The instructions came after he was screamed at by demanding selfie-hungry fans at Melbourne airport. Surely they should all just enjoy the experience of basking in his presence and not need to get a photo for their social media?

Shortly after, a member of the Bieber entourage posted a video of fans clearly ignoring his directive and Bieber abandoning an attempt to address his fans saying "nevermind, you’re not even listening to me.” (which would make a great song title Justin you should use that -you’re welcome). 

Former Australian Premier Campbell Newman then saddled up on ABC News and complained about the 'click-baiting' of politics and how nobody wanted to take the time to let him explain anything properly. 

What both Newman and Bieber seem to have missed is that their audience, has their own audience and their own objectives. 

The Bieber fans main objective for stalking him at an airport or outside a hotel is to get a selfie for their social media accounts. 

The Twittering political classes love to chirp away at politicians as a form of entertainment. Politicians become the ‘social object’ that is bantered about and finding the funniest meme or calling out a fumble (although a bit mean) is all part of the sport. 

Message control through your own publishing channels is a good thing but don’t think this will translate into the audience changing their behaviour if you haven’t understood their objectives. The Belieber also has a Snapchat account. The voter also has a Facebook or a Twitter account to express their views on. Start with that person’s behaviour and work back from there and don’t get frustrated with the new reality. 

A very demanding blog post

I first noticed this the other morning on a bus going to physio. A man boarded the bus and sat next to a young woman across from me. She was late twenties, early thirties, he would have been early fifties perhaps? She was reading something on her phone and looked like any regular commuter on her way to work. 

The man said some sort of ‘good morning’ type greeting and she returned the pleasantry and continued to read whatever she was reading on her phone. 

The man then asked her a question and she did the weak smile response thing. He repeated the question and she did the correct thing in my opinion…she blanked him. 

He then had a spray at her how she was obviously more interested in looking at her phone then talking to him and that he found women like her boring and that was the problem with ‘people like her’ who look at their phones all day and can’t have a proper conversation on a bus. 

She continued to blank him. 

I noticed a similar interchange with three young university students (also girls) who were sitting in Starbucks. A man (much older and uglier than said three university students..look it was just a David Attenborough observation) tried to spark up some sort of asking questions directions type situation and they ignored him and continued to laugh and play around on their Snapchat accounts. He similarly vented that they were ‘rude little b’arches’ and sulked off. 

Not to be left out, I had a similar encounter this week sitting in a corporate building lift lobby watching ABC News on one of those big communal area TVs. 

‘What are you watching?’

‘Just the news’

‘What is the cricket score?’

‘I don’t know, there will probably be some sports news on’

‘It’s the weather. the sport news has been on. What did they say the cricket score was on the sport news?’

‘I don’t know sorry’

‘I was just going to get the cricket score’

‘You can change it if you want’

‘How do you change it?’

So then I too went into blank mode. Change the channel or go away I don’t care.

‘How do you change it?’

‘how do you change the channel. do you think I can get cricket on this? Where are you from? Do you follow the cricket?’

(listen buddy don’t make this sound as if this is some sort of personal benefit you are providing to me you crashed in on my peaceful war in Middle East news watching)

Annoyed with my blanking, the cricket man did the venting ‘hey I’m just trying to be friendly but if you would rather just look at your phone’ thing and I was left wondering how my sitting quietly minding my own business had suddenly gone all Gaza IRL.  

I don’t have to talk to you.
I remember thinking that when I saw the first girl on the bus. 
She doesn’t have to talk to you. 

Her preference to sit quietly and read stuff on her phone or stare into space or whatever is no more or less of a thing than your preference to chat. The university students at Starbucks were having fun on Snapchat with their friends. I was quite happy watching the news and tapping away at an email. I probably have more human interactions with people over an average month than most people because I go to a lot of events. I go to church on Sunday. I like people and I talk to a lot of people but sometimes, I want to have some thinking space to myself and/ or talk to someone who might not be physically there. I don’t think it’s being rude…is it? 

I’ll do the pleasant thing but if you don’t have the social skills to interpret when someone is in the middle of something important like staring into space then that’s your problem. And before you say it, no I don't think he was trying to chat me up or the bus situation one either was (the Starbucks one... probs yes), I think they were just people who weren't very considerate. Note I think the real-world chatters were the ones being rude and not the often-accused mobile users.

Perhaps something even more interesting is going on here and smartphones are empowering women to reclaim their own headspace?  Goodness where did that come from. 

so demanding

Maybe it’s got nothing to do with gender or smartphones and new social etiquettes are forming around the Attention Economy and some people just don’t get that attention is something you have to earn and people are starting to realise this and value theirs. Good communicators will be rewarded. Rude talkers who barge in with their own agenda be it to talk to girls, check the cricket score or sell computer software will be blanked. The Gen Y’s love people, are very social and have great human connections, they just might want some time out or to chat quietly about the things they like and in a non-demanding way. Is that just me?


The one thing you can do today to properly understand social media

If you want to understand how social media works, listen to the Facebook earnings calls. I tell people this.They don’t listen to me. 

That’s why I’m happy to tell you my little secret here, because you probably would rather pay two thousand dollars to go to a half day workshop and listen to people who aren’t Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg talk about social media. That’s up to you. 

Facebook has the family lunchbox users and Twitter wants them
And then Sheryl would have explained to you that social media is still a very small part of most brand’s marketing mix and that there is still a big job to do with marketers getting them to understand how to use and measure the ad products to demonstrate ROI. That would have explained to you the Twitter Australia/ Nielsen TV presentation last night and also the overly sorry apology from Twitter CEO Dick Costolo for not zapping enough trolls because they need to reposition Twitter as family friendly. The proactive communications machine roared into life well before the Twitter earnings results this morning which showed that, other than the Google deal, there wasn't much to say. 

Tony-hater of keyboard warriors, the Internet, coffee and the future of the free world
Apparently the Twitterati trolling politicians like former Prime Minister of Australia Tone Abetz for calling social media ‘electronic graffiti’ is not good content for top media buyer Woolworths selling 85 cent loaves of bread to working families so everyone needs to be a bit nicer so Twitter can attract newer, more gentle, kid’s lunchbox users and take some TV ad revenue. You would have heard Mark Zuckerberg explain very clearly to you that social media updates started as text and then went to photos- where Facebook got the big mainstream growth surge from- and that the next wave is mobile video. So if you want to make your posts to rank well on Facebook, perhaps you could post a video? Just a thought… 

If you are the one person that heeds my advice, then the Twitter earnings call this morning is a walk in the park to understand. You would have heard Sheryl talk about the growth of video on mobile and instantly understood why Twitter have incorporated video into their mobile app this week. 

You would have heard Mark talk about search and providing a search experience that ‘nobody else on the internet can provide’. By that he means Google. So then you would understand why Twitter has restarted their deal with Google to index data for search because everyone seems to go through the process of figuring out that a walled garden always seems like a good idea for ad revenue but it’s a big fail for content and discovery. 

Next gen products-mobile, visual, hyper social friend networks
You would have heard Sheryl talk about ‘next generation’ products like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp and understand why Twitter launched group direct message functionality.You would have heard the Facebook CFO chappie Dave say (at great speed) that ad prices went up 300%, mainly due to growth in mobile video ads and because they can measure stuff better now. Um what? Yes the prices are going up. 

It’s brilliant, Facebook tells you everything. You have to be a bit more Turing code-breaker to pick the winners in the Google call because it’s basically everything they aren’t talking about that’s interesting. Analysts are spooned up some token numbers about ad network rates that don’t really mean much and then there’s a dismissive hand waggle to ‘emerging non-ad business’ and Google for Work’s plans to take over the world with their operating systems and work tools …look at the self-driving magic Noddy cars everyone!

Today, Facebook is setting the pace in social, definitely in a commercial sense and arguably in an innovation sense and they are worth listening to to give you clarity about the big chunky things that matter in the industry whether you personally like Facebook as a platform or not. 

But that’s up to you. 

Oracle's Larry Ellison air guitars his way into marketing but do we get it?

There are many things I like about Oracle:

1. The Larry Ellison / Russell Coutts bromance is one of them. 

I once heard Larry describe Russell as the only person he takes orders from and as the only New Zealander in the world today who supported Russell’s move to Team Oracle for the America's Cup  I was pleased to see him at the Oracle's Openworld event today. Haters to the left. 

2. The hilarious rock music driving a Hummer up a mountain in a Rocky action movie vibe for their keynotes

Dun dun dunnnnn — we have a database—YEAHHHH —air guitarrrrrr. 

3. Oracle have a massive client list. 

Laugh all you want but when I got a marketing email the other day from Twitter, it was sent from Eloqua. Twitter Cards puts customer details into Eloqua because lots of big organisations use it. 

Ever applied for a job at a bank or something? You’ve probably filled out an online form in Taleo

Pepsi Frito-lay is doing FMCG promotions on Oracle Demantra? What the hell is a Demantra? You can watch a video and I’m interested in this sort of thing and i can’t be bothered so I can’t really imagine that any of the regular, less geeky and interested in database apps marketers that I’ve worked with would but that's what they use if you care. 

I went to an Oracle  event in Sydney and after being asked by several salespeople whether or not I was in the Oracle events team or the hotel events team or ‘waiting for my husband’, I was invited in to a technical presentation where speakers wizzed through slides of logos for the many builds and acquisitions that Oracle had made, many in the marketing and social space.  

The speaker was the by-product of such an acquisition and he did something to do with retail and databases and e-commerce and then he talked about cloud development gap and how they needed people to build lots of stuff to run on the EXA META GRRR 4000 CLOUDERATION SUPERCLUSTER BLADE platform or something. In the scheme of end-user understanding of how this sort of thing works I would usually rank myself about a 7 and I had no idea what he was talking about. So I figured the preso must be targeted for developers but then most of the people in the room where from client-side big IT departments I don't know?

I couldn’t help but think there must be so many opportunities for developers to build really great products and businesses if someone could just, you know, actually explain the tech behind the Oracle products in a simple way. It’s tricky because a lot great developers are spending their time building Instagram copies and time tracking software when they could be building some awesome plugin for the Oracle Demantra if people like me who actually pay attention could figure out what it was and tell everyone else about the awesome tech at work on —umm Oracle Demantra?

It might not sound as exciting as Snapchat but in terms of impact, building something for a massive open government healthcare project or retail bank or media network would really change things and that’s what we need. IT people are buying marketing and media software because they are already running Oracle gear which may or may not be a bad thing. I don’t know because it’s so confusing to figure out if the stuff is any good or not and nobody would give me a demo account or any way of playing with it to make an assessment because I couldn’t possibly know how to do my job better than an Oracle salesperson who thought I must be part of the events team because why else would I be there?

When you get past all the air guitar-ing and motion sickness from the spinning logos and M7 chipset FUSION ERP HCM you can look around the room and see that there are many, many companies who use this stuff and a handful of nerds who get what their little piece of the puzzle means but probably not how it works across different functions, let alone to their customers. It’s an industry-wide thing and I’m sure Oracle are aware of it but I fear many marketers are going to get stuck with nasty, unusable software that their IT person has gone ahead and purchased because it talks to the Oracle thing and all their other things are Oracle. I’m sure Larry knows this and that’s why he can afford to pay Russell lots of money and buy a nice island in Hawaii with pineapples on it and good for him. What would be really great is if product marketers or evangelists or whoever does the customer stuff would sit and look at successful consumer products like Twitter and Evernote and Mailchimp and communicate it like that so that more people can get it and run with it and make enterprise technology not so complicated and unattainable for regular folk because if you can understand Mailchimp you should be able to understand Eloqua and marketing teams have large, successful teams of loyalty database marketers who get databases so they should be able to get Demantra, whatever that is.