Social media reveals the incongruent truth – the space where “what is” meets “what ought to be.” It is an uninhabited region where brands attempt to gather an understanding.
Social media reveals the incongruent truth – the space where “what is” meets “what ought to be.” It is an uninhabited region where brands attempt to gather an understanding. Peter Drucker, aka the father of the science of management, once discussed the impact of this area within business. In his book titled Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Practice and Principles (57), he highlights 4 types of incongruities:
- discrepancies with economic realities of an industry,
- overestimating basic industry assumptions,
- lack of understanding with evolving value-based customer expectations,
- and static logic supporting the notion “that’s how it always is done.”
Whether intimate conversations or publicly announced, social media is change agent. Similar to the way hieroglyphics help to engineer written communication – now emojis, video sms, live broadcasts, and hashtags are transforming communication through a digital means.
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Today’s influencers are leading a subtle allosteric in linguistic. The use of digital communication is influencing (and sometimes polarizing) culture. Grassroots movements are exchanging values through means such as ✊, ?, ?, and #yolo.
The reality is that conversation is continuously evolving – and influencing behavior. A simple 140-character tweet can send markets and business leaders into a panic. A live broadcast can bond people over a college football game and a conversation thread can highlight a serious social movement such as #metoo or #blacklivesmatter. There is a certain marriage between online and offline conversation that is happening – in real time!
The web has has made information accessible to all types of people – now it includes the rise of our social realities explained by the everyday person. And let us not forget that it’s happening in real time.
As a brand in this knowledge based economy, are their certain realities that businesses can no longer simply wait out?
“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” – Mark Twain
The biggest craze in 2017 was the rise of live streaming. The use of smart devices has become a modern day transportation device; loads of attention now permeates and focuses into the world of the famous or the not-so famous. Whether truthful or fake news, the lens to “what to think” is empowered by the everyday creator. Unfortunately we often cannot understand the magnitude of the intent until after it has mobilized.
For example, recently YouTube and Facebook fell under scrutiny for trending an incorrect story that a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student was a hired actor.
Social media may have a good eye on the incongruent truth, but figuring out who is telling the whole truth is increasingly hard.
Sometimes the way the world is viewed is totally misaligned. As one movement becomes boisterous and takes over the news cycle, is there an underlying value that we are all missing?
How can you find the truth?
It seems the mission, vision, and values of a company are no longer just compatible with industry standards. The public court of opinions have opened litigation on a brand’s stance on social issues. “Eighty-four percent of consumers agree brands have a responsibility to make the world better,” said Arvind Raman, senior brand journalist of McCann Truth Central.
Basic assumptions are often cloaked as common sense – but time and space often undresses it for the hidden truth.
This is new territory for a social brand!
Is it just social media or is there something else stirring up?
“Change your perspective, and you will change your perception.” – T.D. Jakes
Discovering the Hidden Truth
Opportunity comes about from finding new ways doing things. Innovation enables us to exploit opportunity. Yet, in many instances we attempt to move the dial from 1.A to 1.A.1 rather than 1.A to 2.A. There is a tendency to be on the cufts of disruption; yet, still deeply rooted within the process of the status quo.
What is the hidden cost of the next truth? Are there intersection points where brands play a role in discovery, development, or nurturing?
I don’t have all the answers, but leave you with this: sometimes the way we look at the problem is the actual problem we are really facing.
It’s not simply viewing social media – it may be the way in which we are viewing social media.
Ladies and gentlemen – I present the incongruent truth.
Drucker, P. (1985). Innovation and Entrepreneurship. New York, NY: Harper & Row, Publishers.
Rob Black, Jr. is a marketer with over 15 years experience within property management. He currently operates a creative blog site (www.comizzzle.com) targeting millennials. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.
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