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Narrative greatly helps recollection. Journaling is one of the oldest forms to record and shape it. But as more drop the pen for the keyboard one has to wonder -what new dynamics are taking place?
Journaling, more often than not, is a personal exercise. It rentrenches narratives from the writer’s POV, often without a second thought about sharing it -and certainly not verbatim. Social media, on the other hand, is innately more dynamic. Think “shares,” “likes,” etc. Verbatim is actual. No one can twist “shares” to the sharer’s POV -at least not directly. They must rely on inferences or commentary to make their point.
The mess really facilitates interaction. We must not forget, though, that it most often generates in a vacuum. Social media isn’t taking the place of traditional journaling. Not really, at least. One includes a myriad of prompts. The other is typically a blank page. Both are portable and real life is the greatest prompt of all.
How we relate to online prompts, though, also affects identity and discourse. These are not just merging with personal narratives, now far more informed. They are omnipresent and ubiquitous. They directly sit within the user’s view. They are an influence. To discount their sway is the greatest denial that Manhattan ever invented.
The “inoculation” that marketers often mention is, if fact, a myth. Instead, subjects are merely inundated. They struggle picking which ads to believe. More importantly, there’s no telling which ads they will focus on. But even then, awareness alone does not beget action. Appeal matters. Chicago and Peoria has different ads for good reason. This localization becomes far more individualized online.
New Dimensions and Data Composites
Routes matter. Tangible ones are simple. Highways. Walkways. Location, location, location! Post a sign and let the people come.
Online? Routes are more nebulous. Consumers go to the internet for four reasons: outreach, research, entertainment, and acquisition. The three former reasons can lead to decisions, yes. However, they are often leveraged in the wrong way -in the wrong “location,” proverbially speaking. No one really knows what to make of online communities and webspace. Marketers are best off discarding the mentality that it is a highway or hub. Instead, they should consider the internet an auction.
Everyone looking up “Rolls Royce” are not going to purchase one -not by a long shot. In fact, the internet is the greatest source of information about products most people can never afford. Curiosity does not beget purchases -though it can raise/maintain awareness. This is the foremost reason for internet marketing to exist. It abets sales positioning. But that alone does not actualize sales. And while the platform broadens income sources, it does not guarantee exchange. This is the first mistake neophytes make: they assume that “hits” are enough. Au contraire, it’s the type of hits.
Internet marketers can either pray for ignorance or be more selective. There is no alternative. Misrepresentation of data is profitable and easy. However, tapping into the right market brings superior income that is both sustainable and long term.
Until service users emphasize niche over mass appeal, though, there will be less emphasis on accurate targeting. Why? Evaluation as a result of ignorance. Marketers know many things, but they cannot fully explain how presence and purchases coincide…or why.
Money and focus will continue pouring into broad methods until there is definitive proof that most of it is a waste. The only real tragedy is that there’s very little incentive to do so. Right now, at least, information is a racket and trust comes cheap. Social media truly abets that…but it can be much more.Image courtesy of David McGregor via Creative Commons