Agility and Fragility on social networks

1 min read

With brands and consumers using social networks, brands face new challenges when trying to respond on multiple channels. Concepts that were once limited to the customer service departments such as average response time, are now becoming a common social media metric.

The acceleration ignited by social media also changes communication speed, with Oreo or Old Spice being the most popular examples of real time marketing, where content is created to respond to live events or interactions.

New behaviors bring new risks for organizations, with this fragility being managed with processes that mitigate occurences or require increased collaboration between teams and departments. One rogue tweet or a quick emotional response can start a social media crisis quite easily, as many brands have faced in the past.

Managing this social media insecurity for brands and organizations can be explained with the concept of anti-fragility, revealed by Nicholas Taleb (author of “Black Swan” best-seller) on his latest book, “Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder’.”
In short, the concept is the opposite of placing the label “Fragile: Handle With Care”, and instead use “Anti-Fragile: No Need To Be Careful”.

Many organizations perceive social networks as a fragile system, and capture reduced returns as a consequence. Social networks are anti-fragile, demanding organizations to take risks in order to build a more robust system, expanding their range of opportunities.
Examples include Nestlé and Comcast, that after experiencing social media crisis learned to reinvent their organizations, using social platforms to change the way they communicate.

If birds don’t read books on how to fly, organizations shouldn’t await until it’s totally safe to explore new social media initiatives, but rather encourage experimentation and leave behind traditional processes of communication, where content is killed by committee, with the false illusion that we can forecast a fail.

The new model of communication and real time marketing is anti-fragile: we should encourage small mistakes to heap big returns within the volatility of networks. From weird content to utility apps, the nature of networks rewards those who seek less fragility (decisions processes, bureaucracy, hierarchies) and encourage greater agility of direct interactions.

From customer service to real time marketing, the new chapter of social networks promises to reward those anti-fragile and less vulnerable to decision paralysis. Because if you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.

Beyond filter failure

Armando Alves
1 min read

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