“We are living in a new world, Facebook World” – Kony 2012, Invisible Children Inc.
It is difficult not to get excited about the power of social media. Companies trying to sell products can potentially reach millions of new customers in a hop, skip and a tweet. Cause marketers can co-ordinate a huge fundraising drive by asking “1 million to donate $1”. Activists can get swarms of American teenagers to share a controversial video on a Central African militia leader. And they can do this instantly, easily and without paying a dime. Marketing 2.0 in a brave, new world. And if the pundits are to be believed, they haven’t even scratched the surface yet. At SXSW’s Eco Conference this year, the enthusiasm for social media to drive sustainable change was palpable. In a Guardian report on the event, social media is seen as the foundation to establishing a new-age, responsible company. The author talks about how social networks would oversee ethical sourcing, manage responsible supply chains, make the board accountable to all stakeholders and give employees a platform to design new sustainable business models. If that were not enough, a former aide to G W Bush, Mark Pfeifle, went on record to say that Twitter should be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for its role in the Iranian protests a few years ago.
Two words: Slow down. Continue reading