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Brave New World — Guest Post By Kristen Lamb

kristen lamb

There are a lot of different approaches to social media, but WANA is very different. By teaching you to think ecologically, you will be far more adaptable and thus, more successful.

I believe that if you give a writer a marketing gimmick, she’ll sell a few books today. Give a writer keys to meaningfully connect to her digital community and she’ll sell books for life.

Algorithm Alchemy Doesn’t Work

No matter what anyone tells you, we can’t take each part of social media as separate, then break these components apart into tidy variables that we can plug into fancy algorithms guaranteed to bring us success. To approach social media this way is a fast formula for frustration.

We cannot mix so many followers, with a dash of automation, a splash of vlogging, then stir in three parts “posting only on Wednesdays” and “during the lunch hour EST” to create a powerful platform capable of driving sales. We cannot use algorithmic alchemy to spin links, ads and spam into gold.

To understand the best way to use social media, we have to understand that it’s more than the technology. Social media is about people, so if we understand people, we become far more effective at connecting. Authentic connection is what will eventually translate into sales we all seek.

Brief History of Humans, Technology and Brains

Humans originated as an oral culture. Writing hadn’t yet been invented, but to compensate, early humans had amazingly long and accurate memories. Once the phonetic alphabet arrived on the scene, humans traded their prodigious memories for far greater abstract thinking. This is why, shortly after the arrival of the Gutenberg Press, we see an explosion in scientific and technological discovery.

The printed word, of course, created a problem no human had ever experienced. Information glut. This is why, shortly after arrival of the printing press, we also see the appearance of new gatekeepers, namely universities and publishers. Someone had to help stem the flow and make sense of all the information. Once the telegraph arrived, humans now had access to global information instantly.

More information glut.

Tweetables:

  • Give a writer keys to meaningfully connect to her community and she’ll sell books for life. Click to Tweet!
  • The printed word created a problem no human had ever experienced. Information glut. Click to Tweet! 
  • The meaningful is often buried under mountains of the meaningless. Click to Tweet! 
  • We cannot approach the 21st century with 20th century tactics and expect to succeed. Click to Tweet! 
  • Humans long to connect, to share, to feel valued and appreciated. This is what WANA is about. Click to Tweet! 

As we moved into the 20th century, radio and television transformed human society yet again. We progressively had shorter and shorter attention spans, but we gained the ability to multitask and process chaos very quickly. With the emergence of the personal computer coupled with the Internet and social media, we are now in a Huxleyan Brave New World. We are a multi-media culture that is different than anything humans have ever experienced.

While the Brave New World certainly has a lot of advantages, it is rife with problems, too. Namely, the meaningful is often buried under mountains of the meaningless. Ah, but remember the human brain is a magnificent machine. In order for the human mind keep sane in the face of digital deluge, it has developed a sophisticated way of sorting the relevant from the irrelevant.

What Does This Mean to Writers?

People are not on social media to buy more stuff. If they were, they’d be on the Home Shopping Network and not the social network. SEO is wonderful, and tools are cool, but first we have to make people care. Social media is governed by social norms (the rules that govern human relationships), and when we start trying to sell stuff, we are treated with indifference or even disdain. Why? Because if Twitter is a global cocktail party, we are the yahoo setting up a card table and a credit card machine.

Who invites that guy back to the party? Awk-ward.

We must appreciate that people are being sold to non-stop, no matter where they go. The marketing never ends. It’s on TV, in magazines, at the movies, on the sidewalks and in the train and bus stations. We can’t even go to the bathroom without some ad right in our face.

Because we are so bombarded with marketing, the human mind has learned literally to un-see it. The reason traditional marketing doesn’t work in the Digital Age is that the human mind views most marketing as part of the problem.

Marketing worked in a pre-Internet age. We relied on gatekeepers to tell us what to like, what to wear and what to buy. Ads, marketing and commercials were cost-prohibitive so price was another layer of gatekeeping. Yet, in the Internet Age? Every business, every lawyer, writer, butcher, baker and candlestick maker is scrambling for our attention 24/7 and they can do it for FREE!

We cannot approach the 21st century with 20th century tactics and expect to succeed.

These days, people are overwhelmed by the orgy porgy Feelies of the Centrifugal Bumblepuppy. The audience has changed and if we fail to appreciate this fact, we will waste a lot of time and energy.

Modern humans are overwhelmed. We can only focus on so much. Our brains know this, so most ads, marketing, contests, giveaways and FREE! gets sorted into the cerebral spam folder and the conscious mind is never aware the content existed.

Our brains are super cool like that.

Yet, though our brains have gone through many structural transformations, the heart and soul remains. Humans long to connect, to share, to feel valued and appreciated. This is what WANA is about. We Are Not Alone. Technology will change, but love is timeless. Platforms built on technology are vulnerable to every change, every shift, and every passing fad. Platforms built on community? Those withstand the test of time, because love never needs updating.

 

About Kristen Lamb

Kristen Lamb is the author of the #1 best-selling books "We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media" and "Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer" and is represented by Russ Galen of S.G.G. Literary, NYC. Kristen has helped hundreds of writers find success using social media. Her methods are responsible for selling hundreds of thousands of books. She has helped all levels of writers from mega authors to self-published unknowns attain amazing results. She is the founder of the WANA movement, the founder and CEO of WANA International and creator of WANATribe, the social network for creatives.

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6 Responses to Brave New World — Guest Post By Kristen Lamb

  1. I love the #mywana hashtag and frequently use it. Great way to connect w/other authors! Thanks for connecting us, Kristen!

    • Kristen Lamb #

      Thanks, Heather. It’s because of REAL people like you that #mywana remains awesome. THANK YOU!

  2. Great read! “The meaningful is often buried under mountains of the meaningless.” this statement has hit the mark. We writers need to realize that readers want to build a relationships with authors via their content. They are constantly looking for advice and help, but many focus on gimmick marketing of no value to the reader. We must build relationships, this is important to both circles.

  3. Good day,
    I know I am late in reading and commenting on this but I must say your writing style is wonderful! You balance an old school rhythm with a modern pop that tickles my senses as a reader.
    Thank you for writing and I hope to come across more of you in the near future.

    Early Bird

    • Kristen Lamb #

      Awww, what a lovely compliment. THANK YOU!

  4. Hi, I do believe this is a great blog. I stumbledupon it ;) I’m going to revisit yet again since i
    have book marked it. Money and freedom iss the best way to change,may you be rich
    and continue to help others.

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