Back in the day when Google first open sourced its mobile operating system (Android), I immediately knew I wanted to jump on that bandwagon. What transpired shortly had catapulted me into the realm of startups, mobile apps, augmented reality, location-based services, and 3D printing. This was all back in 2009/2010.
My first thought was how to get my idea to connect with people that were interested in Android. It didn’t take long for me to come up with “What’s up, android?” I thought that by using a simple sentence to elicit a response, would relieve half the battle. The other half would be to reach out to people. It wasn’t just any people. I already knew who my target group(s) were; android developers. It was a no brainer. I would reach out to android devs by using humor.
In just one day I was able to obtain the domain whatsupandroid.com, create a twitter account, a few cartoons, and it was on your mark, get set, go.
In that same time period I came up with Android PR Gal. I made it clear that the PR did not stand for public relations, but people relationships. I told people that I wanted to help build people relationships between the android devs, their apps, and the people that would most likely use them. The term social media was relatively new at the time and people were using phrases that helped to make sense of what was going on, on twitter. Twitter’s initial ask, “What are you doing?” made it clear that using twitter to ask, and show & tell “What’s up, android?” was the way to go.
Moving forward, the concept of social media started to grow, and marketers started using words like; connecting, networking, reaching out, building relationships. Today, all you ever hear are the buzz words connecting, building relationships, cultivating community, blah blah blah. I’m not negating the importance of these buzz words or the positive reality that they have for brands. I just feel as if they’ve been said over a thousand times, rolling off people’s tongues, included in most if not all social media strategies, so much so that they’ve become so common now.
Common is good. Common sometimes lends itself to becoming a standard. Now that social media has become a household term, buzz words like connecting, building relationships, cultivating community are definitely standard online behaviors that you’d expect from brands. If they’re not online doing these things, somebody’s got to tell them. The unfortunate thing is, there are brands online that claim to be behaving in such manners, however, they just don’t seem to be doing it right. That’s my gut feeling. Well, it’s also how I see it.
One day, it had occurred to me that there has to be something more significant than what these buzz words tout. I looked at the letters P and R for a second. All of a sudden they no longer stood for People Relationships but Personal Relevance.
“To know the relevance of something is to know why it matters or how it is important.” BINGO!
From this day forward, I am relinquishing People Relationships and focusing on Personal Relevance. If I keep this in mind, the manner in which I connect, build relationships, and cultivate community will start from understanding, why someone would want to personally connect with a brand. I will ask myself the question: What are the things about [insert brand name here] that are personally relevant to a particular person, business, organization?