My name is Saul! I'm an award winning Word of Mouth Marketer, Professional Speaker on the subjects of Social Media, Customer Service and best of all... Word of Mouth. I collect Air Force One sneakers and think you should hire me... (as a consultant) to teach you how to get your company doing interesting things!
the smartest man in the world.

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Photos from the Drupal Conference in San Francisco, CA 2010

Tuesday, Aug 08, 2010

Social Media should be about saying what people need to hear.

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A little while ago I became friends with David Feldman. Yes, the Emmy Award Winning Comedy Writer David Feldman who has written for The Daily Show, Dennis Miller, Steve Martin, Martin Short and The Academy Awards etc etc…and by friends I mean we probably aren’t really friends but we met backstage at the Just For Laughs Festival and have chatted on the phone a few times about a working together on a project but we haven’t spoken in a few weeks so this post has two purposes.

1- to re-ignite our relationship so I can either make my first real celebrity friend or get served my first celebrity restraining order (either way I win) and 2- to give David Feldman credit for inspiring this concept.

I haven’t spoken about this officially but I am contributing (as well as co-editor) on a book project exploring “The Future of Social Media”. The concept I am writing about in the book is how Social Media is going to become “what people need to hear and not what they want to hear”. I believe this to be the case because of every passing day more people are taking the role of “keeping people accountable”. As strange as it sounds, Truth will become the norm because trying to fool people, or fool people repeatedly will ultimately land your company into a position of defending a lie…or mistruth…or embellishment. Whatever the kids are calling it these days.

So how does David Feldman fit into all of this?

Well I have been looking for an example to prove my concept for a month or more and he mentioned (on his podcast…even though I know he was talking to me directly…yes, the restraining order looks like a reality) the famous (or maybe infamous) “malaise” speech Former President Jimmy Carter made to the American Public just before he went for re-election where he asked American’s to “Turn down their thermostats” with quotes “We can’t go on consuming 40 percent more energy than we produce. When we import oil we are also importing inflation plus unemployment.” And “In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities, and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we’ve discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning. We’ve learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose.”

This was a speech that should have or could have changed the world but instead it was used as fuel for the soon to be elected Former President Ronald Reagan. Because Reagan campaigned on the half truth that everything was ok and that Carter is making a big deal out of nothing…because this is America!

This is possibly the best example of someone telling people what they need to hear and not what they want to hear.

This post is not about starting a debate on politics but rather get you to think about the role we all play now and in the future about accountability because if you close your eyes you can imagine what the world would be like now if there was a little more accountability thirty one years ago.

  1. So when it comes to using social media tools, what sort of messaging should brands engage in? Or should they even be in the conversation at all?

    What’s the truth?

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