What The Greeks Can Teach Us About Social Media


I’m in Greece!

Today I am writing my blog on the balcony of my room at the Attalos Hotel Athens, overlooking the Parthenon. I got the opportunity to make this trip because my daughter is doing a Classics A level, and since I also did classics at Uni, and had never been – it seemed like an opportunity.  And as I am sitting here looking at the magnificence of the Parthenon and how it has lasted for thousands of years, it occurred to me that the Greeks had a lot of wisdom which has also lasted through the years, and is as applicable today as it ever was.


One example is Aristotle:

Aristotle said that all human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire.  These are still the key messages in marketing / social media.  You can appeal to all of these drivers in your messaging – for example….

In good marketing you appeal to your customers with reason whilst appealing to their passions and desires, understanding their habits and nature.  Chance plays a part as you plan to get your messages in front of people who come across you for the first time, and compulsion may also be there depending on your product of service.

Socrates has a message which is as valid today as it was 2,500 years ago (give or take), about authenticity.  One of the keys to social media marketing is being authentic, being yourself.  People buy from people (and brands) that they know, like and TRUST.  Trust is based on authenticity and reliability.

Socrates said “The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavour to be what you desire to appear”. You have to be true to yourself and your values.  I was talking to a customer recently who wanted to present a very corporate brand, as they thought it would mean customers took them more seriously.  The problem with that is that their audience is not corporate clients. They are an SME with the values of innovation, fun and creativity.  The brand and the truth were at odds, and therefore inauthentic.  This would not have helped them to get new clients at all.

The Greeks also knew about quality and value.  They created amazing beautiful structures which have stood the test of time.  Adding value is (or should be) a massive part of your social media strategy.  Accounts which are ‘all about me’ get no engagement and therefore no relationship building. Social media is all about building relationships and offering valuable information, so that people want to come and work with you or get your stuff.

Last but not least…

And finally, I am reminded of Heraclitus who said “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man”.  And that is SO applicable to social media which changes almost daily, so that you cannot rely on or assume that what you knew yesterday about your social media is the same today – as it almost certainly isn’t.

Clever bloke Heraclitus – possibly the first person to express the theories of quantum physics in that he fundamentally understood that all things are one at the most basic level.  And on that note – I’m going to go back to contemplating the magnificence of the Parthenon, and wish you a good day.

Do you have any questions about social media? Tweet us @StrategySMedia 

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