Zero Dollar Social Media

Hello children,
I’ve been working in Social Media for many many years. I got my first taste designing MySpace pages for bands and events. MySpace is gone, and I’m not just doing the design anymore. I work for Hello Social as a community and content manager. But not everyone can afford to pay for a professional service, and this is for those who want to get there social media right until they can.

In today’s lesson we’re going to learn a little bit about social media marketing. There’s a far more complex side when you get to paying for your marketing, but for this one I want to tell you how to get great content. This is a time consuming process when you do it wrong, so this should offer some time savers, and better results.
There’s a bit to take in. Some of it will be old news, some of it should change your thinking on what you thought was going on with social media, and some will hopefully be entirely new.
You might have been on the receiving end of social media for years, but having had a "MySpace page back in the day", or a Facebook and Instagram account now, does not an expert make.
This post may look long, but don’t worry if the more in depth parts do not affect you. If anything is too strange, come back to it, or Google it later.
And this stuff is fun. So don’t get overwhelmed. And if anything seems wrong, take some initiative, test it out, and see what works.
 
Before you even open Facebook;
Why are you on Facebook? What are you going on there to say? And who cares?
Facebook for most of us is a way to keep up with friends, chat, find events, or be entertained. Nobody clicks on for the ads, and Facebook knows that.
Facebook has some really particular rules so that you keep enjoying your experience. It’s up to businesses, marketers, advertisers, and now you, to work with this system.

Rule one;
when you jump on Facebook, it needs to be to engage. It should entertain ideally.
Obviously though, the goal is actually to advertise and do some marketing. But consider the idea of influence for a moment. Think about how often you have asked friends for a restaurant recommendation, or gone somewhere you’ve seen friends have just been, or even bought clothes somewhere you have seen other people shop.
We all have influence over our social circles and that’s the spot advertising on social media needs to fit in.
For every platform you post on, you have a voice. That’s the clients voice in some cases, your own voice, or your own organisations. Think of it as the difference between how you talk to friends, how you speak on behalf of work, or how you talk to your mum. You’re still the one talking but the tone and audience have changed. If I’m going to consider the audience I’m creating to for an arts organisation, I know they are potentially interested in art, but they might also just live locally and feel like be keen to get out for a night. Or they might be looking for things to do in Sydney from out of town. So it’s an art space, but the people coming through might be much broader than just art lovers.

When you get around to writing;
the tone for a post then should not be that of an ad. When you’re having a party you invite people, you don’t send an ad. So invite them to the party, keep it informative so nothing is missed, but make your message read as if you are a welcoming host.
That’s where tone really comes in. When you aren’t just being you, embody somebody else. This doesn’t mean just being a member of the audience and writing like them. Be a more excited version when it’s fun, be a smarter version when it’s serious, and be the person they want to come see.

Do you have an idea of who you are personifying when you write now?
That voice, that tone, and that character are your brand. It’s as essential as a logo to get this tone right. It needs to then be as consistently used as your logo.
But we all do change when we need to, and voice will change every time you talk.  Apply your voice to different circumstances, but remain true to you the brand at all times.

Recently there was so much great content put out by brands all at once that was more entertaining and engaging than at any time of the year. What brought this on? April Fools Day. Yes, a simple imaginary day with little meaning. The complaint we should all have with this day, is that most brands aren't as interesting the other days of the year!

Brand involves a lot more than I will say here, but lets talk about the basics.
The logo we have set. When I post on Facebook it’s already right there in my profile picture usually (which you made at 360x360 to avoid compression), and the name is there as well. You can keep pushing the name when you write, but people know.
If you own content you don't want to be stolen or reused, you can watermark. This may mean a light white logo on part of the image, or the whole logo, but it could also be a bit of text, a shape your brand always uses, or your brand colours consistently placed.

What needs to be consistent from then on is imagery.
The imagery for most of us is something as it happened, right off our phone’s camera. But you can do a bit better. Is your brand refined, is it niche, or is it accessible? Are you focusing on products, on faces, on groups of people? When you put up a post, it should be recognisable without a logo and without a name. Being flat and standard says little, so say something more.
Desaturated colours and sepia filters for example did the rounds as hipsters took on Instagram. This season is brighter colours, higher saturation, and typically joyful. But what is your brand, and what does the imagery say about it?

It is the job of branding to make you stand out of the crowd. With a style guide, logo and tone set, it’s then your job to be consistent. Differentiation is the job of your brand as a whole, not with each post.

If you aren’t familiar with style guides and brand guidelines, here’s a couple from the pros.
Spotify
Skype

Look at competitors as precedents;
and it will give you an idea of so many things if you get lost. You're not just mimicking though, see where they've messed up, see what you could do better. Think about how you are different from them. If all the brands look near identical in your field, how can you stand out?
Then take your standard from the best. Why do you follow what you follow? What are the pros doing?

As an exercise, show yourself you know your brand.

  • Can you say your business function in one line?
  • Can you tell me your business vision in one line?
  • Could you convince a stranger to engage with your brand in a single image?

Now that you have your brand identity solidly in mind;
what is the purpose of your next post? Do you want people to come into the store, buy online, remember your brand, take a survey? ...
Advertising for the most part is about that immediate sale. It's one of many, many goals though. Social media is not however simply about ads and sales. Amazon is, eBay is, and social media can do it too. But really, what you want for the most part is to lead somebody, or influence them with your content. This may mean that they recall your brand, and later when it's relevant, they choose to purchase from you over somebody else.
You cannot always measure information then based on a direct sale, and nor should you try. Consider that I only buy shoes every six months. What's important is that I remember the brand (Nike and Ben Sherman atm) or the store when I make that decision. I also don't go to lush new restaurants all the time, but when I do, I will think of a recommendation or something exciting that I've heard about (I keep sending friends to Koi for instance).
The copy and tone set up the brand and the idea. So what's next is your call-to-action, your CTA. In typical marketing it will literally say what you should do. That may mean buy now, click through, visit a store, learn more at the web address ... Facebook can do that, but it doesn't have to. We inherently know we can click through, and there's a like button already. The call to action in those instances is inbuilt. You didn't think the like button was really just to show your friends you think they're clever did you? It's so you get more content from relevant sources.
Consider what you want each post to do, and if the CTA is outside the scope of like or click through, then it's worth mentioning.

There is a simple rule called jab, jab, jab, right hook;
which is memorable. In this case it means you're posting primarily entertaining content before asking for something. For example you tell people about exciting new food, show off event photos, and only then will people be okay if you ask them to spend money somewhere. Even when asking for money though, it can be seen as an opportunity to try an exciting new restaurant, product, or attend an event. The less it looks like an ad the more chance the ad works. I think of social media as a platform for long term relationships, brand awareness, and not a short term sales. The sales are a natural payoff when you build this relationship.
The more complex version of this rule, is that it takes a person 6-20 (depending on who you ask) touch-points before somebody will buy something. They must have seen an ad, heard about it from a friend, liked the page ... People need to be engaged with a brand enough to justify a purchase.

Does this mean I need posting more on Facebook will get me a sale sooner? No, no, and definitely no.

There is no one rule for post rates.
The rate changes for everything, on every platform. But a place to start is 1-2 posts on Facebook a week if you have enough content. This means each post is entirely different over the course of a month, each post is beautiful to look at and well written, and simply that each post is engaging as possible. Where I would suggest trying 5-6  posts in a week is in the lead up to an event or something significant, but that should be a rarity. So by that I mean an event that will draw over 3,000 people that you have invested a lot of time in, or the launch of a whole new product.

But when nothing's happening, how much do I post?
A simple question with a simple answer. Don't post. Go outside and do something worth talking about, then post. Find something coming up or that was awesome six months ago and post. If you can entertain yourself, you might just entertain others.

Do I need to emphasise quality over quantity? There was a social agency not so long ago who started printing what would be posted onto a Facebook wall. "If you wouldn't want it on your wall at home", they said, "it shouldn't get posted.” Think beautiful, think interesting.

Meshuggah, Alien Workshop and some other brands have taken this rare posting tactic to a whole other level;
A bit like that friend we all have who never speaks - when they finally say something the room goes quiet and everybody is listening.
Meshuggah didn't announce working on a new album recently, and they never use there platforms. One day, they posted a a picture of a microphone pointed at a snare drum, and every blog around picked up the story. There were no hashtags or words needed. A simple image can say it all.
Alien Workshop was a brand that disappeared for years. The website changed one day to a page with weird, unintelligible footage. Nobody checks the site really, but 3 days later everyone was buzzing about how Alien Workshop was coming back, and the rumours started circulating.
This is a very different approach. But you won't lose as many followers as you might anticipate. You may not gain any new followers either, but when something happens your whole audience will be there with you.

Simply, on Facebook, you don't repeat yourself unless it's crucial.
And make it as different as you can. So you can talk about there being an event in a month, then a week, then tomorrow, and talk about what happened at the event. But don't try to get people to engage every day with the same post. That's why Facebook has ads, but it's not what your posts are for.
If the same people keep seeing the same posts you're only going to irritate them. The unlike and unfollow buttons are easy enough to find and you don't want people to consider clicking to get rid of you!

Let me break down what your posting calendar will roughly look like.
So Jane Doe works for a business with a diverse portfolio. They sell TV's here, DVD's there, and electronics there. They also have a big event at the end of the month.
First there's evergreen content. It's not dependant on time. It can move, and live online well after it was posted. A post about TV's will show off something cool that makes your life easier, and you can post a couple of different advantages at different times even with the same product. There are enough DVD's to chose from, so you post the latest release or a sale as it comes up. The electronics have nothing new in and no sales coming up, but you can talk about a best seller to bring even more attention to it. Post things over the course of the month to keep it interesting so not just DVD's at once. Break it up and keep it interesting. I wouldn't suggest posting the same type of content one after the other at all, because you end up competing for attention with yourself.
Then there's content influenced by time. With the event for example, you build up over the month to the event. The start of the month, a week before, just before, and after. A well made plan.
But suddenly (!) there's a media release and you want to get it online. Just do it. Cancel that evergreen post and do it later. If it's crucial enough, post it even if something else has just been posted. This is also why you only plan 4 posts a week instead of 6, because how often does it really all go according to plan?

Community engagement is your next best tool for engagement.
Rather than posting again on the same topic, engage your audience who have responded. Talk to them. It gets better engagement than posting more. How cool to have your favourite musician, an artist, or a massive brand reach out and talk to you directly! It's more memorable than what's on your wall everyday.
Your audience are not just people with money are they? They've given you there time, so respect it, and engage with them.

The share feature is how ideas are spread.
People grab it, comment, and send it out on there own. A brand can do this as well.
The idea of copying and pasting is a mistake though for two reasons.
Firstly the idea of influence from a social media presence comes from a persons own voice and tone, and genuine interest. People have whole careers, or side-careers based on this practice, and they're known as influencers. It doesn't involve a sponsor dictating what they say, rather a sponsor impressing them, and the person expressing that excitement to their audience. It effects the impact of a post when it is written by somebody else, particularly in somebody else's tone of voice.
Secondly you may be messing with copyright. Retweeting, liking and sharing are great tools. If you’re wanting to use other people’s images, copy, or anything else you always need permission. Reaching out to them may also be the start of a great relationship. Sharing says a lot about you if done right. It's not always the go to option. Use it when it's interesting, as you would with linking to something outside your organisation, and will help your audience in some way.
A band may post other bands gigs to show they're part of the community, a brand might share industry news or promote a supplier, or an larger organisaton might share a post by a sub-brand or somebody they have a partnership with.

Has anyone ever bought you a drink at a bar?
Great, but it doesn't mean you're going home together. Organic reach is when you actually communicate with people, you interest them, and they choose to like you. Zombies on the other hand are dead weight. A zombie often means a fake profile that has been set-up to like and follow. But lets be me more general, and think of it as those people who follow you but don't even see what you post.
I could tag somebody famous, and right away get a few new followers. But those followers aren't going to care what I do, or what I post, and they certainly won't be there when I put on an event or open a store.
Aiming for a number of likes and followers is valueless trash if they're all zombies. I would rather have ten people who come into my store and like my page, than 1000 followers I've never seen. Adding hashtags or buying followers may impress the uneducated, but now you know better.

The application of a brand visually involves a whole range of things that go into the style guide or brand guidelines.
On Facebook we can simplify a bit because we have Facebook's rules thrown on top of that.
First up there's a template. For Facebook posts that's a 1200x900 file for posts.
That might mean you logo appears in the same place on every image you post. It might mean you use the same font every time. Leave room to play with the image, and keep the rest consistent.
The image needs to be consistent as well. Keep the same brightness, the same saturation. If you were on Instagram you would always be using the same phone and same filter. On Facebook you may have to do it in Photoshop or Illustrator, but it's the same principal.
You can set up the file once and it will work for months. Set-up a logo on top of everything in one place. Put text in one place and just change the text each time. Then put an image in and make it look perfectly on brand with your colouring, and your saturation. Then, the next time you drop in an image to the file, it should be tweaking the file not overhauling it.
When you're setting up such a file, you need to know about Facebook's 20% rule.
I would call it the bane of my existence, but honestly it kind of makes sense. Facebook wants to entertain, keep people coming back, so your ad cannot look like an ad. To stop this, on 20% of your image can contain text. Anything more and Facebook will show it to less people. Just make sure you use the maximum amount of text you will ever use when creating this template so you don't have to make things inconsistent later.

On Instagram I wouldn't watermark an image like you do on Facebook.
The platform works by dividing text from the image for the most part. And remember, the name and profile picture are right next to the image anyway. Making something visually appealing will get more people to read, but keep copy succinct. Make sure the first words (not even sentence) get to the point.
Hashtags are useful, but can boost the appearance of your audience without having any impact on how many people are coming to the area. More zombies. Tagging something like #art or #food will get likes, but meaningless ones. Be more specific to actually engage the right audience to gain more accurate results.
#Hashtagging is important, but don't overdo it. Think of it as being on a tier of specificity, and layer 5 at most usually. From broad to specific that may be #art #artaustralia #artsydney, but get more specific by using tags other places are using like a suburb.
Something that changes all the time that needs to be tested is whether to hashtag within copy or outside of it. Hashtags inside copy are a twitter essential, but can be aesthetically clunky on other platforms.
While on Instagram, it’s all in the image. I will not read a word you say if the image doesn’t grab my attention. And a call to action aside from “like” or “follow” on Instagram is pointless because I will not click off Instagram. If I’m keen I might look up a brand later, but I never use links. Instagram images I make at 1080x1080. It helps avoid the compression that will be applied and keep images sharp, though it isn't always possible with the wrong assets. No need to watermark here, because people won't engage. If you wouldn't put it on your wall at home, don't put it on Instagram.

Twitter doesn't work for many Australian businesses;
and I wouldn’t invest extra time in it for the majority of brands. If you wanted to sync up the Facebook account's to Twitter accounts, or automatically post from your blog, it's not much extra effort, but doesn't serve much purpose unless it gets a bigger international following.
Twitter here is a link to some business internationally, particularly on the nerdier end of the spectrum. Think Silicon Valley, think IT, think data. These are people attached to their phones. Where it gains that next level of international traction is that you can experience drama at a concert, event, product launch, or a conference, and you don't need to be there. You can also get caught up in conversations and debates.
Twitter in that way is about interaction entirely. A tweet without an answer is about as sad as talking to yourself. Therefore it may not be about starting the conversation, rather, it's about engaging with other peoples thoughts and contributing something new to the conversation.
In this way Twitter isn’t isolated from the world, it’s another layer. It’s a conversation about Master Chef, it’s yelling a bad referee, or enjoying a product launch with other geeks.

LinkedIn is loved and hated.
It is a good way to talk about business. Content should in no way look like advertising. It's all about being informative, and a bit entertaining. This could be somewhere to post media articles, blogs and long content. It's the audience that's built in that's very specific. It is more likely to be used by architects, business managers and entrepreneurs than it is by tradies, retail staff and the unemployed. You just need to be aware of what somebody logging in to LinkedIn is looking for when they end up there.
Reaching out to people over LinkedIn is accepted, but remember that people at certain companies are inundated with job offers, people looking for jobs, sponsorship requests ... My LinkedIn is a relatively quiet place, so I will always see LinkedIn messages for example. Somebody at Google, Apple, or Nike will merely glance to make sure they haven't missed anything of immediate importance.
All posts and messages should come from an up to date, reputable profile. All messages should get to the point. Name drop known connections if you don't already know somebody. If you have met once, remind them where. Keep messages to less than a paragraph while requesting a follow up, rather than putting long form content up.
Also - if you begin to template content to send to people it will very quickly end up in their spam folder. In this sense, it's not about advertising, but professional engagement entirely. It's not a replacement for a phone call, but if you wouldn't ever call them about business, you probably shouldn't message them on LinkedIn either.

What’s your backend look like?
A massive collection of folders and files like mine can quickly become a mess, so I keep track of everything one way. It doesn’t matter what your system is, but make a plan and don’t change.
File naming for images for instance looks like; dateofcreation-brand-platform-postname-fileproportions-versionnumber. I use the same system for any documents as well. And don’t use the word Final in your file names. How many uni students already know about the dramas of having files called Final, FinalFinal, FinalFinalAmended …
For file organisation, documents need to be arranged so they can be found by anyone. It runs along a similar path to my file naming. All Brands Folder > Brand Name > Platform > Month. In each brand you might also have a different file for assets like logos and images, and another for documents you don’t want to lose.

Currently reporting from Facebook is straight forward using Insights.
You can very quickly which posts have been most successful, new likes, etc. Learning from those things and checking that out regularly is a great way to learn what works on each platform. Your Instagram posts you may simply need to gauge by looking over your history.
And don’t just report for reporting’s sake. Try learning from it. Where was your drop off in engagement? What can you try again? What can you do better? What’s your specific goal this month?
And benchmark from that individual brand, not from others. Like any self-help will tell you, be your best, not somebody else’s. Your past is your benchmark.

Key points to take away

  • Engage and entertain your audience, don’t advertise
  • Stay on brand with your tone and imagery
  • Learn from the best
  • When there’s nothing to post, don’t post. Quality over quantity
  • Set up a calendar ahead of time
  • Converse with your community
  • Start organising your files properly
  • Your benchmark is last month, not anyone else

How to get a design job.

Getting a job can suck. It's a time consuming process and very frustrating when you aren't even hearing back from the jobs you are applying to. Hopefully this blog can elucidate a few things.

I have a couple of things that make me qualified to write about getting a design job. Firstly, I have a job, and I've had another prior. I also used to get work for myself as a freelancer. And secondly, I look at lots of CVs, Resumes, Cover Letters and Portfolios when looking for new people. I then interview them and pick out who comes on board. I've been on both sides of the table.

Before you even consider sending something though; get an adult e-mail address. You don't need you@yourname.com but you do need a G-mail that doesn't read like a 2001 Yahoo user name with numbers.

The Cover letter
It's the first thing I look at, and it should be something you put time into. Some people go resume first though. Don't skimp on anything.

This is make or break. It sets up who you are and everything I may decide to look at.

To lay it out you can do a few things. Firstly, and importantly, use my name. "Sir/Madamn" doesn't cut, nor does "to whom it may concern". Jump on the website or LinkedIn and try to figure out who I am.

Got my name right? Now name drop when you can. Do you have a common acquaintance, did somebody put you on to me? Let me know - it instantly builds trust.

Remind me what's going on. Where did you see the ad, and what was the job for. I might be running several job ads at once, and big companies run many. It also ensures that this letter is specific to me. 

Now maybe you're just looking online, but be specific in your searches. If you are going to roughly template a cover letter, ensure the content will transfer well. What are three proper and specific job titles that appeal to you? These sorts of ads should set up the things you mention here and in your resume. Also it's helpful to grab the vocabulary in the ads.

Please, lordy, forget saying “I am passionate", "I love your company". You applied on Pedestrian not on our website, so I call bullshit!

Instead jump to “I want a specific job at a specific type of business in this location". Be specific about the job title, whether the place is an agency, publisher, boutique, major firm, international ... and let me know that you are a perfect fit for us in doing so.

Now pitch yourself. Highlight relevant experience with a story if you have to, or statistics if you have them. This shouldn't just recycle your resume. A big part of it is about setting the tone you have which fits with the business. Are they an old corporate with traditional values? Or do they have bean bags and a PS4 in the office. Connect with how you write and what you write.

As you write use "I". Writing "about" yourself instead of "as" yourself is bizarre.

And instead of just writing "I", think about "them". What can you do for me? Look at the business and consider how you would contribute. If you can be specific, be specific;

  • Can you solve a problem?
  • Can you offer something I haven't considered?
  • Is there something you can do that wasn't even in the job description but would benefit me?

And please offer a little more than experience. Your resume can show who you are, and if I'm going to hire you, I'm going to have to sit with you everyday. So I have to like you. This doesn't mean listing hobbies though. You can do it with tone.

Resume/CV
Two approaches exist. The pretty, and the dry. I love the dry, formatted, word-looking resume, but not everybody does. It tells me all I need to know.

The pretty resume with graphs, colour and illustrations simply tells me you went to design school. "Everyone went to fucking design school! You're not special! Tell me what I need to know." Again though, some people still like them.

A few years back a couple of things emerged. Putting your name in bold (and pink if you're female) doesn't tell me anything.

A photo shouldn't but might however, and these are becoming popular. Your call.

You don't need to put your age, and you don't need to put your address. Giving out this information is odd to me.

The latest inclusion I am undecided on is the citizenship/PR status, and English language skills. It is actually a useful inclusion. If I am reading a resume with bad grammar and spelling (which I really shouldn't be. Get a friend to read it if you can) that mentions studying overseas, I often worry that there will be an early conversation about needing sponsorship. I don't mind having people seeking sponsorship, many people I know are doing it, but I want people who love what they do, and aren't there just for that reason.

Now you lay out your resume in numerous sections normally. But your resume is not simply a chronology. It’s a story. To tell that story please, for fuck sake, don't tell me you "can work in a team, independently, or lead". Even if it's true, everyone says it. If it reads like a cliche, drop it.

Also I really don't care about what you did in high-school or where you went to school. Anything that far back is redundant. Prefect at your school three years ago doesn't tell me who you have become since.

Now you could simply include facts. But what if instead you could actually be remembered afterwards?

Don't just tell me you studied typography. Tell me you used InDesign to lay out magazines based on a set brief. And don't tell me you love hand-lettering when there are no examples of it in your portfolio.

Portfolio
Not all portfolio's were created equal. There's some essential things you have to get right.

Numero uno - Eight best works. That's it.

  • Spent five minutes on it. No.
  • Not really the kind of work you want to be doing? No (You don't see web design in my portfolio because I hate it).
  • Got a credit? No.
  • Haven't practiced that skill since you first year of uni? No.

If you're a uni grad the portfolio may be less specific, and may only include uni work. If there is professional work done, clearly mark that it's commercial to differentiate it. And if you and everyone else has done a similar uni project, I don't want to see it if you didn't stand out. You and your peers are probably sending resumes, and I've seen what each uni does at this point.

I would suggest building a portfolio of 12 works in InDesign. For each job, reorder the pages, and cull what's irrelevant down to eight again.

  • Working with wireframes but applying for interior design? I don't need to see it.

Make an effort with each portfolio sent, as with everything you send. You'll have better results than throwing a hundred resumes out.

Give context to what I'm looking at, and give headings. Project name I don't really care about. Medium, potentially. And concept. Please and thank you. Don't give me just a brief, give me your thought process. If you're presenting work to a brief then fine. But if you were asked to be creative, explain that creative process.

Portfolios on Behance and The Loop are kind of shit frankly. I'll use it, but I'm not happy about it. At least switch from Behance to Adobe Portfolio.

This website is made with Squarespace. Simple to do. A PDF is usually ideal otherwise.

Interviewing
Scouts honour - be prepared. I remember hearing of a story (probably-definitely from Ramit) of pulling out information from a briefcase when they were expecting to drive the conversation. Make your own talking points, and frame the discussion. Make the interviewers life easy.

You could prepare an example of something you have done alongside with your portfolio, giving information I haven't already seen. You can not only try to nervously get in the door, you can excite me about having you come in.

If you have just nailed something, show me work in progress. It may be incomplete, but I'm happy to look at a PSD or AI with you. It may in fact tell me more about you than I would see anywhere else.

This process is a negotiation, and not just you selling yourself to me. Ask questions that matter to you. What's the company culture like? What does a typical day look like? What processes are you looking to change? Where will you be in 12 months? Then contribute to that conversation positively when appropriate. Keep everything conversational. Again - if I'm going to have to work with you every day I have to like you.

The anecdote is cheap. But if something comes up in conversation and you can tell a story do it. Make it contextual to everything - I don't care about your pets and new car unless we're selling cars.

Now consider; why you over everyone else? What's your edge? Haven't got one? If not. apply for a lesser paying job. (Or lie through your teeth and never say sorry!)

Key takeaways:

  • Customise everything you send out.
  • Sell yourself based on their needs.

Where to get a job from:

Social media as multi-modal story telling.

I was studying multi-modal story telling throughout my honours degree. So for me leaping into social media marketing from there makes total sense to me; but I’m sure this is not how most people approach their social media.

Multi-modal story telling is a really old concept, but one not many people know about.
Consider how in Alice in Wonderland you think just as quickly of the illustrations as you do the story, the prose, and the poetry. In Sin City the relationship between text can highlight either; with the word BLAM taking up an entire frame as part of the action.
With marketing we get this relationship as well.

I think of words and imagery when somebody mentions a brand to me. With social media marketing though we have additional tools beyond old marketing forms.
Most advertising from ye olde days for instance combines words within the poster or billboard. But on social media we keep those elements either combined, separated, or they can be stand-alone. Each part continues the story though.

A tweet with just words relates to an image I saw on Instagram, which reminds me of a poster I saw the other day.
Mixing in lettering with copy, a blog post with an ad for a product, or a photo with a scientific message is a powerful part of communication. Why aren’t we seeing more dynamic interactions then from what was being done when we were restricted to print?

Consider a carousel ad. These ads on Instagram and Facebook are a newer development for social media. Combining a series of images, the most common use is to promote different items, or contain distinct parts as multiple pieces of content. To my mind they look like a lot like a Peanuts comic strip though. Using this format to tell a sequential story is far more powerful than simply having four ideas on the one ad.

But you can go well beyond that simple device. Each image can be dynamic. On a Facebook post, most people create content that may include a product, text and logo. Beneath that is text with an engaging intro, some explanatory content, then a call to action. What if the call to action is in the image, what if the image consists of multiple images, what if the image is mostly text and the text is a comment on that text?

With all of the possibilities, don’t settle for just direct messaging that sells - because nobody gives a Hootsuite.

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are not clicked on numerous times a day because we want to purchase new items. We click to learn something, get advice, discover. Advertising has a home, but content is branding. It’s the long game not the next action.

HTML linking is the next level of this story telling.
This isn’t just dropping in URL codes though. Add in a hashtag every now and then, or share a story on Facebook. Tagging friends is about more than just showing that individual the photo - it’s connecting everyone in that image to the friends of everyone.
The stories that are created might be relationships when tagging a friend. It may mean discovering a new article, a new website, or a new product though.

Unsure what to do next?
When you’re an individual using social media consider;
The reason you can share dynamically is so you can better find, and better be targeted for advertising.

When you’re creating content consider;
Hunches come from experience.
Set aside time for unmediated exploration.
Freedom leads to progression and innovation.
Start acting as if you have an answer (just call it a test).
There isn’t going to ever be just one solution, so don’t adhere to what you’re used to dogmatically.

Man as machine in the twenty-first century.

We grew up with tales of the future. From Verne’s exciting adventures to Blade Runner’s dystopia we were given many options. Part of that narrative became that we were told, one day, it would be up to us to decide what the future would be.

Among the bleaker ideas are that a machine that would surpass humans. Perhaps prosthetics to aide us is a more positive notion. But why we would produce a machine with all the flaws of humanity?

The reverse though, a man as machine, is much more thoughtful. From Andy Warhol to the factory worker of the mid-century, we saw the fruition of this. We saw those machines desire escape though. The promise of the American dream and various available freedoms were crushed with the realities of financial chaos, jobs without growth, welfare systems under pressure, and the next generation being as screwed as the last. Aside from the ludicrous promises of gambling, or the escape of affairs and drugs, there is barely a crutch to stand with. And we see it in those people who were arranged by systems today as they realise they are treated as machines, like the musicians with the ruthless contracts who rebel, from Taylor Swift, to Tom Yorke, to Trent Reznor.

Today there is the new promise - the creative entrepreneur with their wealth. Perhaps these people are driven harder than anyone, and in the end serve as machines more than any other! They are not the old worker in the factory, instead they are the new machines, they progress the machines and systems in the same way a literal machine or system has changed. Machines though nonetheless.

Wasn’t that always the promise of a machine? To create something that would make humans lives easier. Isn’t the goal for so many retirement, to be successful doing as little as possible. To get a cheat sheet. We have apps so we don’t need to remember important dates (birthdays, anniversaries), the internet so you can forget 99% of what you were supposed to have learned (and now Wikipedia and Google interrupt every argument, from the meaningful down to trivia nights), and online education where people believe they will learn (yet the completion rates show otherwise).

What ever happened to Goethe, Da Vinci, to being driven by the work not the reward. The drive must be function not output in these cases. And it is the uniqueness of your function that changes that output. Only then does the function matter. Because unlike machines, the human wasn’t made with a function in mind, it simply is, the individual then deciding the function.

Human(e) Rights

Often I write sensitive content. In this case I am discussing sexual abuse against children. Even if you feel brave, or have moved beyond a previous trauma, I would ask you not to read this post. The old idea of reliving past experiences to move past them has proven to be inneffective, and this post may contribute to bringing up issues you have moved beyond. Additionally, this post and upcoming posts I would ask you not to share widely elsewhere for the same reason.

The content of the book as a probe I created goes through the currently unresolvable issues surrounding paedophilia in detail as I have discussed previously. But then it gets to what can be addressed.

Primarily this is that these people suffer comorbid symptoms because of their paedophila, mostly anxiety and depression. I chose to primarily address the self help treatments using CBT that are proven to work.

As an introduction, comorbidity simply means things happening at the same time. This may mean anxiety is covering up the underlying cause. A common example is that alcoholism is covering depression, so the alcoholism is treated. And for some that may be enough of a kick start to dealing with the depression.

The common anxiety related behaviours that can be associated with paedophilia, understandably, include seek to remove yourself or seeking safety. Not hard to understand, somebody with inappropriate attractions may find themselves avoiding school areas, avoiding being out in public when school gets out, or avoiding events where they may see children. Anxiety also involves worrying about future events and it is the fear of, say, an opportunistic encounter, that can paralyse somebody.

Depression here is relevant mostly to symptoms such as feelings of worthlessness, and at an extreme suicidal ideation. This is particularly relevant not only to paedophiles though, but what the stigma around paedophilia involves. There have been numerous suicides that have happened not because of the crime of paedophilia, but the accusation alone. There are now people deceased because of this accusation, and whether or not they committed the crime will remain unknown. Being accused, and knowing the consequences, is life shattering. Even a non-guilty verdict casts doubt and shame over a life. Understandably after building a career as a trusted school head, religious figure, or community figure the accusation is devastating.

The inability to seek treatment for the paedophile for these problems, and the state of stigma around even simply being accused is a deeper, fundamental breach of human rights. The social contracts, not legal stipulations alone, define this taboo in a horrific manner that can be devastating.

Highlighted in the work are these,

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups ...

The future to altering this needs so many stakeholders on board. Society, government, and media to begin with. This situation is not the intention ofpeople to violate these rights. But little is changing. This is not an inevitable state of things. It is an accident. This may be the beginning of the conversation for you.