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How Everything Has Changed – Social Media




How Everything Has Changed… but nothing is new

A discussion about social media with Thomas Umstattd Jr.

Technology cannot be good or evil

There are times when technology favors the powerful

  • e.g television commercials – only the powerful could afford commercials, so smaller companies could not compete

And when technology favors the weak

  • e.g. the American Revolution
  • Today Twitter is like the musket of the Revolution – technology that both the strong and weak have access to
  • Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia

Sometimes technological change is necessary

  • As the technology for hunting large animals got easier, it became harder to find food – they transitioned to agriculture, using animals to help them raise their own food
  • The old way – television commercials
  • The new way – YouTube, blogs, podcasts

How technology has changed how we communicate

  • One to one
  • One to many – e.g. leader to people
  • Many to one – e.g. voting
  • Many to many – feels new but it dates back to a community sharing stories around a campfire
  • Twitter allows people to bypass mainstream media

Push – things that get sent without the receiver’s permission, including letters, phone calls, email; but spam makes email less appealing

  • The line between charming and creepy (for people, or for email) = permission
  • Email marketing needs to be based around permission

Pull – the user chooses to welcome the communication into their life

Twitter (and Google+) weed out the boring

  • Twitter is a meritocracy – you have to earn followers
  • You have to “set yourself on fire”
  • Do not ever post what you’re doing right now
  • Scientifically most people can’t have more than 150 friends; followers/acquaintances don’t care
  • Instead, answer “what is interesting to you right now” – which could be the same thing as what you’re doing. If it’s not interesting to you, it’s not interesting to anyone else
  • What would be interesting to your followers – which means, who are your followers?

Facebook weeds out boring in a different way – How does Facebook decide what shows up at the top of your feed

  • Likes – the more likes you have, the more people will see you on Facebook; don’t complain, but make your posts more positive
  • Comments – someone who commented in the past is more likely to see your post in the future. Ask questions, do a fill-in-the-blank.
  • Social proximity – mutual friends means your post will be more likely to show up on someone’s feed
  • Freshness – the older your post, the more likely it will be to fall off. Space out your Facebook updates. Pages can now auto-schedule posts. Remember some people do Facebook at work, others don’t.
  • Previous interactions – if someone liked your posts in the past, they will likely like it in the future
  • Promotion – you can pay to appear on the top; this is the only way people on mobile will see your ads
  • Content reputation – Text, links, videos, etc. Facebook loves photos the most, text next.

Principle – how to set yourself on fire; aka theCalrissian Principle

  • reciprocity – do something for someone else first before you expect them to do something for you
  • Plant grain now to get more grain in the future
  • Ask, who is my audience – and embrace them; who is not my audience
  • How can I thrill them? (If they aren’t thrilled, they won’t engage or share)
  • One tip to rule them all – type your question into Google (e.g. “how do I get more followers on Twitter?”) – Let me Google that for you
  • See Lesson 2 – how to measure engagement & Virality (Scroll down)
  • Don’t forget to advertise to existing fans


  • How to target advertising for authors? Thomas recommends GoodReads
  • For businesses, target users of existing Facebook pages. You can set the name of a page as a specific interest
  • Facebook needs to figure out how to do mobile well, especially the ads. Instagram figured it out, so Facebook hopes they can build on that by buying them.
  • Baby boomers joined Facebook before Gen X because they wanted to see what their kids were doing, and it jumped a generation; meanwhile Twitter favors Gen X
  • Google+ is something to watch: it’s used by the technocratic elite, highest average income; it has the best support, less noise, elements of reddit and stumbleupon
  • Google Hangouts allows you to go “On Air” which broadcasts to YouTube and archives the video after
  • The trend to use social media in political campaigns takes power away from the mainstream media and puts information and news into people’s hands to help make decisions
  • Political campaigns – now more about social media than television advertising
  • How to manage time and social media networks. Go to question “who is my audience” and focus on that one. You may need to ask your customers where they hang out. Use your phone to send out messages rather than when you’re on your computer. Don’t use third-party apps on Facebook for the purpose of putting content out there.
  • Two books Thomas recommends: Inbound Marketing and The New Rules of Marketing & PR
  • Also check out Thomas on bestsellerssociety.com

Final point: Kennedy beat Nixon because Nixon failed to adapt to the new technology.

Thomas’ parting words: don’t be Nixon.