Social work understands that relationships between and among people are an important vehicle for change. Social work engages people as partners in the helping process. Social work seeks to strengthen relationships among people in a purposeful effort to promote, restore, maintain and enhance the well-being of individuals, families, social groups, organisations and communities. Social Work Dictionary, Robert L.Barker, NASW Press, 1999 media media media
NOT yer top-down marketing exercise... Closer to word-of-mouth marketing... But much more out of control than that Many powerful social networks (You Tube, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr) birthed by groups of friends wanting to share material and connect to peers/girls/boys
But elementally, internet was created by scholars, hackers and generals – a mix of scholarly, alternative and state interests A robust but open structure, dedicated to the principle of free communication You have to understand the underlying strength and idealism of social media...
Dangers of not doing so: see THE MUSIC BUSINESS... Napster said: fans want to access music digitally, share it with friends, embrace a medium for their enthusiasm... Music biz said: sue them, they're communists (rather than license them, they're new kinds of consumers)
Some of us saw network-enabled fan power coming... BASIC CAPITALISM: MAKE SOMETHING SCARCE & YOU CAN SELL IT FOR MONEY RECORDED MUSIC NOW UBIQUITOUS, NEARLY FREE, ALMOST A COMMUNITY RESOURCE... BUT THE PERFORMER IS SCARCE & BEAUTIFUL, UNIQUE, CUSTOMISED OBJECTS ARE SCARCE
SO USE WHAT IS UBIQUITOUS TO DRIVE PEOPLE TO WHAT IS SCARCE 4000 members of Hue And Cry Music Club – 4000 people attend UK tour Half of sold out ABC 1 Xmas gig bought £75.00 History City Xmas Weekend tickets in advance (paid for new LP!)
SO USE WHAT IS UBIQUITOUS TO DRIVE PEOPLE TO WHAT IS SCARCE How does that help the Merchant City traders and creators?
One thing I'm presuming a room full of stylish entrepreneurs has in abundance is chutzpah, taste, great sensibility, confidence... You should be using social media not just to tell an attractive story about your product or service, but about you and your world-view - and then inviting responses from consumers who might be attracted by that.
You should be thinking about how you can enrich the collective narrative and consciousness of the Merchant City - really evoke a lifestyle that people would want to dip into. And with social media you have the tools to do so.
Wordle map of Twitter followers (2257) of @merchantcity, taken on 4 October 2010 Try it at www.wordle.org
Question is: are you selling to passing consumers? Or are you helping to build a rich community life, in which the rewards for participating passionately will be sales and return sales?
SOCIAL MEDIA SUGGESTIONS 1. Start blogging the 'world-view' of your business - tell stories, share enthusiasms, in words and images, audio and video if you can. If you don't know how, then your good city council should provide you with training!!
SOCIAL MEDIA SUGGESTIONS 2. Then allow the community to blether, share and show-off with that world view - Do that by figuring how to make one post go a long way - by mastering social media: integrating Twitter and Facebook accounts, using link-shortening technology, etc - Agree on a hash-tag that accompanies all your Twitter postings #merchantcity
SOCIAL MEDIA SUGGESTIONS Merchant City site should welcome and digest your contributions … Be more like Huffington Post or Outside.in - either providing a platform for bloggers or at least linking to their work
3. Remember what social media is - it's a platform for rich, voluntary, self-directed conversations and sharing of content, information and experience between people. There are clearly thousands of stories happening in the Merchant City every day - but we're not hearing them, or perhaps we're not eliciting them properly -
- - Amazing arts community in this area - fizzing with ideas, controversy, technique - where can we not just know when they're on, but what they're on about - Great diversity of food - where are the recipes, the stories about background and cuisine - A celebrity-glitzy place - where are the TMZ.com style doorsteppings and gossip columns?
- Why not mention of Barras or Barrowland on the website? Hoxton & Shoreditch in London couldn't do without the street-trading energy of Brick Lane... Why exclude these merchants??
- Maybe not so much www.nycgo.com As bushwickbk.com Brooklyn maybe more of a model for mixing high-rent/high-consumption, artistic-creative living, cool hedonism...
- Social media is as close to social work as it is to commercial media - if you participate in it, you're building and enriching a community. And if you abuse it - or don't respect its particular character of blethering, sharing, informing and showing-off - it'll be worse than if you never go involved with it.
IDEAS-MERCHANT CITY PASSION-MERCHANT CITY INFORMATION-MERCHANTCITY EXPERIENCE-MERCHANT CITY COMMUNITY-MERCHANT CITY SOCIAL MEDIA & M-CITY PAT KANE / THEPLAYETHIC.COM [email_address]