The March On Wall Street That Wasn’t
It was meant as a call to action. The Twitter hastag #OccupyWallStreet was an experiment by editors of Adbusters magazine to see if they could motivate thousands of people to march on Wall Street. Their motivations for doing this are not really the issue. What matters most to me (at this point) is the fact the march never really coalesced as intended. In fact, thousands of marchers did set up shop on Wall Street and hold some minor protests. but definitely not the “tens of thousands” they had hoped for.
Does this mean social media is not the powerful tool for change we had thought it was? Does this mean social media lacks the power to motivate people to action? Does this mean we’ve all been fooled by marketers who promised social media marketing could reach millions and that those millions could be motivated to add revenue to our bottom line?
No, no and no.
The fact is, social media marketing is relationship marketing. It is not enough to simply broadcast an announcement through your network and hope that someone heeds the call. You need to first build trust by offering value via your social media network. Once visitors realize there is value in the information you impart to them via social media they will be more inclined to follow your call to action.
You do have a call to action, don’t you? Something like, “Sign up for our newsletter” or “Visit our web site” or “Click Here.”
However you use social media remember this: As a tool it is only as effective as the person who wields it.
A tabloid’s headline, “Violence Erupts at Wall St. Protest,” proved overstated. There were arrests for erecting tents (protesters said they were trying to keep their laptops dry) and wearing masks (violating a century-old statute against masked gatherings).
Liberal bloggers were briefly scandalized when Yahoo! blocked emails that included “OccupyWallStreet,” until it turned out this wasn’t censorship: The email service had blocked the messages assuming they must be advertising spam. Adbusters editors probably weren’t pleased when Livestream, the online video service protesters used to air their activities, featured advertising for Natural Instincts, part of megacorporation Procter & Gamble’s Clairol line.
New York police closed off several of the area’s narrow streets and sidewalks to keep protesters from reaching landmarks such as the New York Stock Exchange. This worked, but it is inconveniencing hundreds of thousands of locals who live and work in the area.
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