I bet you hear a lot about what’s BAD about social media all the time don’t you? I know I do. And I guess there is some validity in the complaints about trolls and vacuous comments about what someone ate for breakfast.
But there are many things social media is really really good for. And one of those was very apparent this week. You see – social media is really really good for getting news out very quickly and really really good at creating a community spirit, given the right circumstances.
I am referring to the sad death of Sir Terry Wogan.
I don’t know if you are a Wogan fan or not – but he is woven into my childhood in a way that certain special entertainers and broadcasters are. When I think of happy childhood family times, certain names come up – Brucie, the 2 Ronnies, Morecombe and Wise, Parkinson, David Attenborough, Terry Wogan. And there are not too many of those left.
He wasn’t really that old and no-one knew he was ill (well I am sure the people that mattered most knew but I am talking general public here). He lived a private life and a public life and the two were kept very separate.
But when it came to letting the world know he had passed, social media lit up. There is no quicker way in 2016.
In the pre social media era you had to wait for the news (TV, Radio or in the very old days, the papers) to tell you about celebrity gossip, the budget or the passing of an icon. When Diana died, I found out through a phone call, when Mountbatten was murdered it was the 6 o’clock news, When WW2 was announced over – it was Churchill broadcasting to the nation on BBC radio from Downing Street.
And what is especially good about social media in these situations is that ordinary people can express themselves and by doing so form a community spirit around a situation or a subject. Yes you will always get the naysayers and the rubbishers. Haters are gonna hate, as the saying goes. I like it though. I think for one small section of time, people who do not know each other can become connected and understand the feeling of community, if only briefly. It allows those who otherwise couldn’t to show respect in a tiny way. Not everyone can go lay flowers at the relevant spot.
If you want to know what else is good about social media and how you can use it to build and relate to your own community, come see me speak at the 2 following events. 26th Feb in Heathrow at the ToolBox Live – 4 great speakers sharing how to grow your small business, or the 18th March in Manchester at the Magnetic Business Event. Next weeks blog will have more details on this – but get the date in your diary now – it’s going to be special.