In recent meetings, I have found myself explaining what makes something social versus not. What makes it acceptable and embraced by a certain community versus something that is not. And what I keep finding myself explaining is that the basic difference is nuance. The example I point to most of all is the explosion of the QR code. More and more it is being embraced as a symbol of social media in action.
I often point to the program that was recently run in New York City with the advertising programs centered on QR Codes. And then the question always arises – what is a QR Code. And then the disappointment when I explain – in actuality all it is is a different form of a 2-D bar code. So what makes it special? The fact that it is embraced by the community. The same program run with another 2-D bar code would never achieve the same level of acceptance. In fact, it would be considered “old school” and ignored rather than embraced.
Another conversation I focus on is a local one focused on two sports radio channels competing for the local audience. While they both cover sports and both hired sports writers and ex-athletes, the distinction between them is excruciatingly obvious. The older leader in the space is using its former & current format and attracting its regular audience. The new station came out with more edgy programming and more cutting edge routines and in doing so was embraced by a younger and more edgy audience. Interestingly, on paper these two stations look incredibly similar if not redundant. Yet this nuance has made the second station successful where others who were me-too stations were not.
Are there nuances in your programs or communications that you are overlooking that would attract a different audience? I challenge everyone to think about them. I truly believe that in every program they are out there.