The Value of Social

I’ve been on a “social media cleanse” since Monday. Not a full-out purge, just a mini-cleanse to rejuvenate. (That person on a juice cleanse…at the bar? That’s me.)

I’ve removed the Facebook and Instagram apps from my phone. It means I’m still able to go on these networks via desktop but also removes the temptation to compulsively, incessantly, maniacally graze through an unending stream of (mostly) uninteresting updates on-the-go. It’s a small move, but proven immensely helpful.

NYC Chief Digital Officer Rachel Haot gives the specs on NYC gov social media engagement.

NYC Chief Digital Officer Rachel Haot gives the specs on NYC gov social media engagement.

My cleanse lasts a week. On Monday, I’ll be back on the social grid, starting at NYCEDC as manager of social media and content. My task is to develop their social media, blog, and content marketing strategy, which will require full immersion in these platforms.

Though I sometimes decry the impertinent nature of social media content, I do believe in its value. The problem is I can never explain it. Does its primary value lie in the human capital that powers it? Its technological ability to surface interesting content? Its power to connect?

My real reason for disconnecting this week is to determine the void social media fills, if any. As I pull back the curtain and prepare to step behind the scenes of the grand social media production – taking on the “voice” of a 500-person organization – I’d like to know what exactly it is that people get out of their feeds.

So, I’m curious:

  • What gets your attention online?
  • How do you interact with social media? Do you use it as a discovery engine, an address book, news source?
  • What conversations/stories are relevant to you? (Particularly about your city?)

Please share your thoughts! I may be on a cleanse but ultimately, I believe that social media’s *nutritious* value is just waiting to be revealed. (sad food pun, sorry)

Food for thought:

Social Media Is For Listening.

Are You An IDIOT?

My Version of National Novel Writing Month

Day 1: Strategy

I’ve been drafting these things called ‘Content Strategy Docs’. These are digital design, development, and copy suggestions for companies to increase engagement with their customer base. In short, a way for companies who care about their bottom line to appear that they care about other things, like you. The most successful businesses are realizing that it’s no longer about simply offering a product; meeting customers online and adding additional value through useful, compelling information is becoming make-or-break strategy.

In these docs, I talk a lot about building a brand. Determining three adjectives that describe the essence of who you are, then sticking with those descriptors in everything you produce – whether it be a simple tweet or a full-fledged marketing campaign.  Through all this strategizing, I realized that my own writings on my website failed to abide with that consistent ‘voice’.  Two posts ago I wrote about journalism, the latest was about food, and now this is about branding strategy. Who am I?

Before this turns existential crisis-y, let’s remember that it’s November. And? November is National Novel Writing Month. While that may not have been the first thing you thought of, it was one of the first thoughts that crossed my mind when waking up this morning. If that says anything at all (other than that I don’t have a boyfriend) it’s that I really like to write. Yet I’ve never really sat and figured out what I want to write about. It usually just happens. So today, in uncharacteristic fashion, I tried to draft a “plan” for my writings, structure it around some theme, find 3 adjectives that describe my essence. After painstaking thought, which involved going to the fridge and wine bottle, I gave up.

Unlike the companies I’ve worked with, I can’t boil my “content” to one, two, or even three subjects. I simply write. For National Novel Writing Month, I’ve decided not to write a novel, but a single post a day. I have no strategy, no idea what tomorrow’s topic will be. All I’m saying is that I will write – be it 3 am delirium or crisp clear-eyed morning cheer- every day for a month.

That’s about as good as strategy gets. The National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo for short) goal is “to write a 50,000-word (approximately 175-page) novel by 11:59:59 PM on November 30.” We’ll see if 30 random posts make a novel.

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This is my mood now. When things go wrong, you sing a song.