The Invisibility of Social Media Opportunity and the Need for New Eyes -- Bill Harvey

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Cover image for  article: The Invisibility of Social Media Opportunity and the Need for New Eyes -- Bill Harvey

A great friend of mine has a very talented lady love. She is a fashion leader who shows her legion of young fans how to make a fashion statement on a budget. She reclaims abandoned objets d’art and makes things and puts the whole outfit together so it turns heads admiringly and is flattering and hip. Let us call her Manhattan Marlene.

Marlene makes the most outrageous women’s hats out of a certain brand of paper towel. The hats do not look at all like paper towels by the time she is done with them.

Others convinced Marlene to let the company that makes the towels know about her hats, expecting a big YouTube/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest tsunami of social media usage by the brand.

The company turned her down saying, “We’re not looking for new ways to use the brand.”

Naturally Occurring Social Media Opportunities (NOSMOs) may be rare events or there may be hordes of NOSMOs around your brand right now, hovering like fireflies on a part of the light spectrum our eyes rarely see.

How blind we are acting. Opportunities run through our fingers like grains of sand to be forever lost. Every brand has opportunities to bring out and enrich the brand, reinvigorating its personality for the new cohorts of people who are coming of age.

The User Is Generating Content. Before we go off trying to concoct the brand marketer’s version of the Hollywood Publicity Stunt, might not it be better to conduct reconnaissance on what people are now doing with the brand that is interesting and shines a unique light on it? Why not associate the brand with human interest stories? Why not associate the brand with the best of what’s inside people?

Let’s open our eyes and see without filters, drop the instant rejection kneejerk, ask whether each new datum might be looked at as an opportunity, and figure out how it needs to be turned to see it that way.

Ideate about your brand. Contemplate its personality, its meaning to different people. With what do they associate it? Contemplate how it is used. What ideas come to you about fun contests that could be played in social media to bring out new aspects bordering on the current image of your brand?

People appreciate product information. If you are in what you consider to be a boring or aversive category where social media seems creatively challenging, say insurance, contemplate what product information would be useful to people and is not generally known, and see if there is a way to give away that information in an interactively engaging and socially passable manner.

The opportunities for social media creativity abound far beyond the present limits of the state of the art.

Bill Harvey is a well-known media researcher and inventor who co-founded TRA, Inc. and is its Strategic Advisor. His nonprofit Human Effectiveness Institute runs his weekly blog onBill Harvey consciousness optimization. Bill can be contacted at

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