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Oversharing: Just Not that into You!

Category: Andy Marken's blog Published on Monday, 16 January 2012

All Social Isn’t Business, All Business Isn’t Social


“I had this guy leave me a voicemail at work, so I called him at home, and then he emailed me to my BlackBerry, and so I texted to his cell, and now you just have to go around checking all these different portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies.”Mary, He’s Just Not That Into You, Warner Bros (2009)

While the universe continues to expand, we live in an ever-shrinking world.

It was first identified by Hungarian author Frigyes Karinthy when he advanced the idea of six degrees of separation, our increasing connectedness.

Not long ago, Facebook’s Paul Adam reduced it to our being six degrees away from people who influence us.

O.K., so Facebook didn’t invent it; but you have to admit they “enhanced” the idea by cutting your search time in half. Then one of their engineers had to correct biz development by saying we’re really separated by 4.74 people.

Come on folks, the world population just streaked past seven billion…so of course we’re closer together!

But we prefer Mitch Joel’s world-shrinking approach--today we’ve only got six pixels of separation. He probably knows better but after writing his book Six Pixels of Separation and doing a blog and podcast by the same title, he takes a more creative approach to our growing connections.

Joel is trying to interpret what’s going on in the interconnected world while Adam and his engineer are just collecting, selling the connections.

Close Enough
They both know we are constantly sharing content online in more ways and are using more platforms to share more stuff with more groups of people who share it – good news, bad news, stuff – with more people.

Gigi looked at the potential and said, “I like a little time before a blind date; prepare myself mentally.”

It’s no wonder that Cisco projected that in five years, 90 percent of the stuff flying across the Net will be content.

It’s almost a beautiful thing.

Closer ‘n Closer – The growth of the social network has destroyed corporate silos and helped produce greater transparency and trust inside and outside the organization. By empowering and enabling people, relationships have become closer for employees and consumers. Social business will continue to grow for every segment of the marketplace.

In our constantly interconnected world, people like/want to share with those six pixels away and those people like to share with their three-pixel folks and they…

Pretty soon the whole thing has gotten outta’ hand and there’s no turning back.

People are sharing with people!

Open Dialogue – With each new generation the amount of information, data, and content grows rapidly. All of the devices make it fast, easy, almost fun to exchange information and put it out there for the world to see.

With more than three billion phones, maybe a billion computers and maybe a hundred thousand tablets; people are doing more than just making phone calls and sending emails.

No Time Out – When you step back and examine the facts, you find you’re spending more and more time on the web exchanging information, ideas, entertainment with your growing circle of friends. Network and cloud service providers see the demand and usage growing faster than our ability to absorb and protect the information.

We already have a generation that never knew life before being online; and the next generation (kids under 11) won’t think twice about what they’re sharing, who they’re sharing with.

They’ll probably be like Ben and say to every contact, “You may be the best friend I've ever had.”

Kids Connect, Share
By 2014, eMarketer estimates there will be more than nearly 25 million kids in this category or 47.8 percent of the young population.

They won’t be sedentary either because more than 70 percent of today’s parents have kids under age six who watch their folks find stores, local information, activities, stuff using mobile internet access.

Works for mom and dad, so it should work for them just as well.

None of them – parents, kids, you – thinks twice about the fact that getting that information costs you…(wait for it)…your information.

As Beth commented, “I thought that guy was a process server.”

Despite the fact that you can’t turn around without bumping into a bunch of social media experts, very few organizations understand what all the user information means, how valuable it is, how to use it to help people get the most from their connections.

The problem is these social marketing experts are trying to use dry, abstract, mechanical types of measurement tools to pigeonhole individuals and groups.

The approach usually fails because people aren’t assembly lines and even in large groups can’t be tuned to a pre-established standard.

Try as scientists and mathematicians will, there isn’t a universal standard for human experience, action, reaction.

As a result, our experts give lip-service to 1:1 relationships then use modified old marketing measures to determine the value of social media to the company.

Social Marketing – While marketing struggles to develop methods of showing the return on investment of social media marketing, it has not slowed down organizational efforts to conduct activities that bring them closer to the customer and strengthen the relationship.

True, lawmakers don’t understand either why online organizations like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Yahoo, Apple, others can’t simply BAM!! get you just the right information you want when you need it, before you even ask.

But clearly understanding what they are doing has never been a requirement for the job.

Gigi simply said, “I would rather be like that, than be like you.”

Tough Protection
Protecting your privacy sounds better than sharing information to get information.

Privacy continues to be a time bomb; and there have been a ton of data breaches – really big ones – over the past year. However, most of them have been caused by users themselves.

Being careless, lazy, dumb is so hard to regulate.

While a lot of business employees believe that social media usage could damage their firm’s reputation – 50 percent according to a Deloitte Ethics & Workplace Survey – small businesses have done a better job of getting involved with the online communities.

Digital Business – Perhaps because of the limited financial resources, small businesses have more rapidly begun experimenting with and using social media activities to network with others and provide customer support/service. Over the holidays, social activities enabled them to compete with larger businesses on an equal basis.

While the small businesses don’t get the credit they deserve, more organizations are paying attention to the success NHL (National Hockey League) franchises had as players became more connected to their fans.

The first people to take notice were players in other sports who put all of the social media tools to work for themselves.

Despite more than a few widely covered stumbles, people have kept their image and fan base--even when they earnestly admitted their shortcomings.

Small businesses and larger companies have seen their relationships expand when all of the social media relationship tools were used.

Marketing Mix – Depending upon which social media tool/activity you are most comfortable with, it becomes the one many employees feel is the clear winner. The truth is that all of the social media activities build on each other and produce better overall results because no one uses just one social service.

Marketers recognize the need for and potential of social media; but you have to admit, it’s still tough to develop scenarios that spread and deepen the social media user engagement to increase profitability.

Job #1
The key is to have everyone in the organization understand that goal and be involved.

Marketing needs to help every member of the team understand that part of everyone’s job is to develop better/more leads, develop/assist customers and constantly monitor the company’s brand.


Big Social Event – At Facebook’s developer conference, F8, Zuck told attendees how the company was expanding in almost every area to produce a robust marketplace that could be easily followed and mined. Unfortunately, he had to lower his sights when the US and EU trade organizations “adjusted” their opt in/opt out policies. Source - Facebook

Think about it, three billion folks out there have phones, about a billion have computers, and tens of millions have tablets. And yes, Zuck has about 800 million members, Twitter has a couple of hundred million, the rest of the social media locations have their share.

Companies don’t want them all – O.K. it would be nice but… -- they simply want to come up with a measure of their organization’s return on investment for their social media activities.

Despite the presence and popularity of social media, it’s still extremely difficult for management to understand the depth and breadth of its pundits, practices, principles. What they do know is that word-of-mouth marketing is a tremendous opportunity for their company, their brand.

But Alex warned them, “Well, yeah, okay, don't start doodling my name on your binder, okay.”

Fully Connected – People have become so connected to the people, activities in the virtual world that they check their social media contacts constantly. Many aren’t even out of bed in the morning and they are online. Others interrupt other activities to stay in touch with “others.” Image – Warner Bros

The great thing is people are sharing more information, content socially. All we have to do is interact with them without interrupting other social activities.

But then Alex whispered, “You are *my* exception.”

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