Category Archives: The Social Media Mullet

All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Brand

Make Me Social’s Phil Grech named his blog The Social Media Mullet because, like the hairstyle, it will discuss the fusion of “business” and “casual” under the banner of online communications.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Guess what I’m going to write about?

That’s right: not Thanksgiving. Even better, I’m going to write about why we should not be afraid to be ourselves – even online – even if you are a business.

Defining and refining the voice of the brand begins in the onboarding process. The onboarding process involves a lot of information, but one of the more critical parts is defining the voice. Every brand should have their own unique voice. Depending on the client, we suggest a possible position on the sliding scale of how our tone should come across when writing content.

Let’s say that one side of the scale is professional and the opposite side is personal. You never want to be completely on one side or the other. Rather, you want to adjust to be somewhere in the middle, perhaps leaning more strongly on one side or the other. A financial corporation would do better leaning on the professional side, while a fun, hip restaurant would do better leaning on the personal side. In both situations however, neither lose touch with one side or the other.

This is what works. This is what we have seen work. This is what we have tried, tested, and proven to work. But sometimes, people feel that their voice should be “all professional, no personal.”

I understand the hesitation to relax and loosen up a bit. It’s your company in someone else’s hands.  And the people who want “all professional, no personal” have great intentions. But it doesn’t work. As an example, take a look at this clip from The Office.

Funny, right? But it also makes a point.

Social media is an ongoing conversation. Social media directly reflects how we communicate in person, as human beings. In fact, the success of a social media site will partially depend on how well it can best replicate the process of human interaction. Replicating this process online is a difficult endeavor considering scientists are still studying and trying to figure out the experience in and of itself.

There is one thing we can easily extract from human interaction however. It’s that we want to know that the people we are talking to are people. We want to know that the people we are interacting with have a voice. No one wants to communicate with talking heads (except for The Talking Heads). We want personality. We want charm. We want a little style and flavor.

The people are asking for it, so don’t be afraid. Give it to them. If you’re going to have a brand, you’re going to have a voice. Let that voice be heard.

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Phil Grech is a Content Manager for Make Me Social. He published his first book, “Don’t Waste Your Hands”, in 2009. He studied English and Philosophy at Flagler College. In his spare time, he reads, works out, drinks an unhealthy amount of coffee, and searches for good conversation.

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The Social Media Mullet: What Would Philosophers Think of Social Media? Part 3

Make Me Social’s Phil Grech named his blog The Social Media Mullet because, like the hairstyle, it will discuss the fusion of “business” and “casual” under the banner of online communications.

My last post discussed why Bentham would have made a horrible and invasive Social Media network CEO. Before that, I discussed Social Media and Existentialism. Continuing my roll of incredibly interesting topics, I am going to talk about the 20th century philosopher Theodor Adorno.

I like Adorno. Why? Because he is the first person I have read to ever put in very intellectual terms why mass-produced art hanging up in your house makes you dumber. For me, it was always a feeling, but Adorno solidified it for me after I read “The Culture Industry,” part of a book entitled “Dialectic of Enlightenment.”

This German-born philosopher believed that after the Industrial Revolution, the allowance of art to be mass produced was a bad thing (in simplest terms). Adorno argued that the art that comes out of easily accessible and mass-produced means is formulaic and meaningless and, subsequently, it dumbed people down.

With Social Media, the production of art is virtually limitless. Post a picture, it gets liked and then it spreads even further to that person’s friends. While it is certainly beneficial to make art more accessible, and companies greatly benefit from it in the form of advertising and campaigns, Adorno would have argued that Social Media, or at least certain aspects of it, dumb people down. Don’t get mad at me; take this matter up with Adorno. I’m just the one explaining his claims.

What else would Adorno have commented on regarding social media? What about QR Codes? QR Codes deal less with aesthetic appeal than they do with access to information, so I think he would have not have had much to criticize there.

What about tumblr? Considering the amount of time people spend on tumblr and the amount of sharing that goes on there, I am sure we can easily presume what Adorno would say about that popular network.

With that in mind, don’t ask Adorno to like your last status. He wouldn’t even have a Facebook account.

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Phil Grech is a Content Manager for Make Me Social. He published his first book, “Don’t Waste Your Hands”, in 2009. He studied English and Philosophy at Flagler College. In his spare time, he reads, works out, gardens and searches for good conversation.

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The Social Media Mullet: What Would Philosophers Think of Social Media? Part 2

Make Me Social’s Phil Grech named his blog The Social Media Mullet because, like the hairstyle, it will discuss the fusion of “business” and “casual” under the banner of online communications.

In my last post, I talked about Social Media and existentialism (boring? Never). Existentialism is one of those words that gets thrown around a lot, so if you aren’t too sure, read this article that provides a good background on it, or just watch I Heart Huckabees. In this post, I want to take another shot at exploring philosophers’ possible views of Social Media.

Social Media Transparency and Bentham’s Panopticon –or- Why Jeremy Bentham Would Be a Horrible Social Media CEO

In 1787, English philosopher, Jeremy Bentham, designed the panopticon. No, it’s not a Transformer (though with a little imagination, it could be built). The panopticon is a prison model where a central tower filled with guards can, at all times, look at the prisoners whose prison cells form a circle around the tower.

The design is a good one because the prisoners cannot see inside the tower (thanks to whatever available technology there is: e.g. light system, two-way mirrors, etc.). The idea is that prisoners would be reformed by having to always be in good behavior, something that would become a habit after their lengthy prison sentence.

Online, we experience something quite similar. Despite Facebook privacy settings, our lives are still very much exposed. We never know who is watching us, who is looking us up, or what they are going to do with the information they find. That’s not much of a concern for a non-paranoid type like me, but if you’re a particular New York Congressman, you might want to be a little cautious.

If you think Mark Zuckerberg violates privacy rights on Facebook, imagine what Bentham would be like.

Foreshadowing my next post, I will discuss what Theodor Adorno’s perspective might be on things like the QR Code.

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Phil Grech is a Content Manager for Make Me Social. He published his first book, “Don’t Waste Your Hands”, in 2009. He studied English and Philosophy at Flagler College. In his spare time, he reads, works out, gardens and searches for good conversation.

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