We must know what we think and speak out, even at the risk of unpopularity. – Eleanor Roosevelt
I should start by saying that I’m not, generally, a fan of generalized personality tests, yes, there are some truths to them; though, you can take any number of quizzes and get a variety of results.
There is a book, which launched for purchase today, called Surviving Your Serengeti. which is described as:
As a brutal business environment meets a soft economy, business leaders and managers are looking for sources of both inspiration and survival. This compelling new fable offers a riveting tale of life in Africa’s Serengeti and what lessons it holds for today’s beleaguered business people and struggling society.
This book has been floating around the Real Estate world as it was also prefaced by the opportunity to take the quiz online to find out which kind of Serengeti animal you are. I took the quiz weeks ago, and I’m a Giraffe. Many of my friends have been taking the quiz and discussing their excitement to read the book and find out what it’s all about. I was one of them, until tonight.
Near 5:30 – while on Twitter, I started seeing tweets from people I respect in the industry with the link to the quiz and the hashtag #Serengeti, first only a few, then many, then a virtual storm. Being curious, I decided to look at the Hashtag Stream. Many people, nationwide, were tweeting the same thing, then retweeting others’ posts. These tweets then started calling for people to run out and buy the book, then tell their friends to buy the book.
In that moment, in my eyes, it went from a clever marketing idea to a coordinated spam storm. In not only my eyes it seems, My friend, who is not in the Real Estate circle, tweeted that she was about to start unfollowing a good chunk of those she unfollows because it was clogging up her stream. I echoed her sentiments. This; however, proved to be an unpopular sentiment.I received a tweet from the “book’ itself.
I responded that it looked, to me, like a spam storm. They responded again:
From Wikipedia: Herd behavior describes how individuals in a group can act together without planned direction. The term pertains to the behavior of animals in herds, flocks and schools, and to human conduct during activities such as stock market bubbles and crashes, street demonstrations, sporting events, religious gatherings, episodes of mob violence and even everyday decision making, judgment and opinion forming.
Recently we’ve all seen the power of social media, from Iran, Egypt, Tunisia and Libya to A recent virtual social media war as I spoke of earlier. Your image on social media is everything when you’re marketing yourself. Just as your image in the marketplace is everything. If you’re doing it wrong, we can only hope your customers will tell you. Most often, they will they’ll tell their friends.
When you’re making a plan to market yourself or your business on twitter, remember, some mention of your business is effective, employing your friends to help you with their endorsements is also effective, but coordinating a torrent of power promotion is, in this guy’s eyes, spam and was really horrible to watch.
This actually seems to have worked in their favor. Cause near eight this evening this tweet came out.
Sure, you’ve increased your sales, I appreciate that. You have also caused me to rethink my value of an “endorsement” I see on twitter. I was excited to read your book. Right now, I’m not so sure. Also, I found it very interesting, as I publicly dissented against “The Herd” there was a swift move to silence me, and if you know me, that’s not easily done.
Careful where you place your match, you could get a beautiful firework or you could get a burned.
It seems, I wasn’t the only one who thought this was more spam than advertising. My friend Cheryl, who is not in the Real Estate industry, who I have come to respect, includes her opinion here: http://www.engagingothers.com/2011/02/against-the-herd/
Remember, when you are a business on social media, your public persona is whatever the public perceives it to be.