Negativity, i’ve heard that word a lot on Social Media in the last few days and I feel it’s something that needed to be talked about
Those that know me will know I love Social Media
- I love the freedom that it gives small businesses to compete on a more level playing field against larger business.
- I love the fact that individuals now have a voice outside mass media
- I love that I can write a blog in 20 minutes and have a huge audience reading it off the back of 1 tweet
But on a more and more frequent basis I keep hearing the word negativity creeping into the conversation, where what the user actually means is stop being so honest because your honesty is offending me
ORGANISATIONS AND COUNCILS LABEL COMMUNITY GROUPS & LOCAL BUSINESSES AS NEGATIVE
Just last week the Altrincham and Sale Chamber released a press release saying they were “aware of negative comments on Social media” – this was in response to comments on Social Media about their president Sue Aldridge’s Business Profile Q&A that said
“What is the worst thing about Trafford?
The Trafford Centre, it takes all my money
Where is your favourite place in Trafford?
The Trafford Centre”
“Negativity” used in a context to silence those voices via press release, the very businesses that the Altrincham and Sale Chamber is supposed to represent.
Altrincham is not unique in this, as community focused people such as Joe Barratt, who has done so much for Stockport with both the Teenage Market and the Portas Pilot video, has been at the receiving end of the “negative” debate.
But it goes further than that, it goes to virtually every single borough in the country.
Every single time a community group or local business raises constructive criticism they get labelled as negative
THATCHER – DIVIDING OPINION
And then there was the Thatcher debate earlier this week where any criticism of policies, which still affect your business and mine, were yet again labelled negative
Not just 1 or 2, but every single one of the Social Media experts I follow went down the “so negative today on social media” route to stifle any debate on the issue
And on personal facebook accounts again debate was stifled and stopped in its track with the “negative” observation
I’m not going to do a full blog on this issue, but for me this Guardian article on “Thatcher And Miss-applied Death Etiquette” article counter balanced it perfectly – read it here http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/08/margaret-thatcher-death-etiquette
COMMUNITY, LOCAL POLITICS AND TWEETING IDEALS
I want to make it clear that I’m not saying you should be tweeting political ideals from your own business account. A world where Tesco’s is gushing political opinions to the ether really isn’t something that appealing to be honest.
But the businesses that do tweet community ideals locally I do respect a lot more than those that don’t and remember #shoplocal and backing the independents over the multinationals is a political statement in itself.
Research shows “supporting local businesses puts life into the local economy. Research has shown that £10 spent with a local grower circulated two-and-a-half times locally, being worth £25 to the local economy. The same money spent in a supermarket left the community much quicker, with a local multiplier of just 1.4, being worth just £14”
Altrincham HQ is unique in that it was set up because we had the collective community in mind rather than just self and that in itself makes a political statement with a small p. As a social media business we don’t need to be so focused on the community, but this is my home town I care passionately about it and so often I put the people before the profit.
I often feel that it’s the same people who often sit on the fence are the same people who use negativity in its wrong context
Next time the negative question get’s raised simply ask the following 2 questions
– Negative – can you please explain exactly why you feel i’m being negative?
– I would be interested to hear what positive actions you are taking for the community
What are you thoughts on community focused tweeters and the events this week?
“With over 12 years experience of Social Media and 17 years experience of online marketing in other companies, clients come to myself when they want a veteran rather than a rookie” Alex McCann