On self promotion and the fear of being noisy

 
 Some feedback we've received on social.

Some feedback we've received on social.

 
 

Don’t you hate it when your friend won't stop talking themselves up.

We send out monthly newsletters, that’s what you’re reading right now. We express our humanity within the business through the stories we share and the projects we’ve worked on. In the past you might've gleamed such info from the “About Us” section of our business page. At least that’s how it would’ve been 10 years ago. Things have changed since then.

 

 
 "Because the mail never stops..." — Newman

"Because the mail never stops..." — Newman

 
 

Don’t you hate it when your friend can’t stop telling you about what they're doing and how much fun it is

In today’s media age, we’re constantly expressing ourselves. Like fish in water, it’s reached a point of normalcy where being off Facebook is a statement in and of itself. An act of defiance. Remember that weird kid in school whose family didn’t have a TV?

We’ve all had experience with brand building through what we’ve curated for the world to see on our social networks. Self promotion was previously the domain of performers and business-owners, now everybody enters the game once we open our first social media account. 

We live in this weird social ecosystem where our well-wishers and detractors, peers and prospective clients all share the same space. All of us oscillating between one or more of these roles at any given moment.

Don’t you hate it when your friend is just so oblivious to how annoying they are on Social?

Whether you’re offering a service or simply expressing yourself, chances are you believe in what you put out into the world. Whether it's a movie recommendation, your latest purchase or some recent wins. But life is noisy and people are busy. We need to consider that our need for attention and acceptance, no matter how softly pushed on social may become a psychic drain for some.

It’s important to be mindful of critique, even if we shouldn’t always bow to them. As a service, one has to put themselves out there but there are many reasons why people may not be receptive. As newfound social pariah Bill Cobsy once said “I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody”. There are many reasons why friends might be annoyed by what they're seeing on social. Chances are it might have nothing to even do with us but more a reflection on themselves and their current mood.

Truth is though... we all do it.

We’re living in a parasocial age. We've grown accustomed to one-sided relationships with our media. The way we used to keep up with the inner lives of celebrities through tabloids and talk-shows, we now have the same portal to everybody through social networks. We know the happenings of friends we haven't caught up with in years. We're inundated with tiny bits of gossip on everybody, even if it's just the illusion of it.

 

 

Performer Bo Burnham who found fame as a teenage YouTube sensation recently directed his first feature — A commentary on this media age seen through the eyes of an 8th-grader. He described the state of social on a recent podcast thusly:

WTF: Episode 935 - Bo Burnham/David Sedaris
BO BURNHAM: (1h 8m 36s) This pressure I had felt to perform, to deliver for an audience is now sort of social. 
MARC MARON: Now with people's access to putting themselves out there. Everybody can have that entertainer's fear. 
BO: That sh*tty sort of thing that you get when you're a D-list comedic celebrity has now been democratised for everybody”. 

At times navigating social media can remind us of high-school popularity contests. "Does anyone get me? Do the cool kids notice me? Will I ever be popular?"

Daily Vlogger Casey Neistat channels the proud, arty kid from school with this video for Samsung championing unabashed expression:

 

“When you‘re a creator, you don‘t need someone in your ear telling you what you can and can‘t do. What you can and can‘t say.”

 

This might help explain why we send out these newsletters from a creative's point of view. It's a representation of our ideal selves. Below are some tips the studio tries to be mindful of to overcome worries about noisiness:

Find the people who get you

There are more allies out there than you think. Work on what you do because you believe in it, not because you're always validated for it. This will allow you to forge on during the dog days.

Be empathetic

This is a tricky one. While in life we can read from body cues, feedback doesn't always translate to engagement on social. Our audiences can be kept abreast of our daily happenings without necessarily touching base. Deliver work that you're proud of and is true to you. Criticism that comes from this might hit closer to home but people generally respond kindly to honesty and vulnerability.

Don't overthink it

There are haters out there. They tend to be drawn towards people out there giving it a go so don't allow them to bring you down. The sting of criticism is largely brought on by how we internalise things. Don't take everything to heart, you'll find you're probably your own harshest critic anyway.

Remember your value

Focus on the value you're providing to your audience. Create a space that fosters community and collaboration. Delivering what people want is also a function of understanding your audience. By being a good listener you'll discover what's resonant to those around you. 

 

What the arty kid in school figured out early on [and as adults we've hopefully come to realise] is that life isn't about seeking everyone's approval. Social media is a limitless tool of expression and we shouldn't be tripping over ourselves to shackle one another. We can express who we want to be and trust the right people will find us. 

 

Article by Lorenzo Encomienda. Lorenzo likes to carve out time for exploring. Diving into subcultures and checking out new happenings, whether at home or abroad. Expect to find him at the next comedy show or Pro-wrestling event in town. Follow Lorenzo at @30HomeGames


 

Mind Methods is now an official Sprout Social agency partner.