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Social Media – Voice in Wilderness vs Voice in Community

I was awakened last night by howling coyotes. Since I grew up in rural South Texas, I was happy to hear coyotes at night when I moved to Colorado over 11 years ago. The sound can be mournful, or it can put a smile on my face as I hear them “chattering” and communicating with each other while they run.

The downside to being awakened by coyotes last night was that I could not go to sleep because I started thinking about this blog post ;). At the expense of my good night’s sleep, I hope you enjoy the topic and offer your own comments! Here is the video with a rough transcript below it.


Let’s talk about Three Voices:

  1. Voice in the Wilderness – This is the voice you have when entering uncharted territory. This could be the lonely wolf howl as it tries to find its pack. You could be an early adopter trying to drag an organization into social media channels. You tentatively call out “Hello…is anybody out there”? You wonder: “if I build it, will they come”? And you have no assurances! I have recently noticed professional organizations that are slow to adopt social media channels. Even if those organizations invest in a social presence, will those channels ever be embraced by the very constituents the organizations seek to serve?
  1. Voice after Marketing and Customer Service Armageddon – This is perhaps the worst voice to hear. Perhaps you started out as the voice in the wilderness, and you built a following. You built a strong civilization of like-minded people. But then you got greedy, and you wanted more people to come to your Branded Utopia. You started firing marketing bombs with higher frequency at the expense of sustaining your current following. Or your customers had a bad experience, and you went on the offensive to prove them wrong versus following that age-old advice “the customer is always right”. These bombs can leave a smoldering wasteland where followers used to be. And your lonely social media voice becomes the sole surviving testament to your folly.
  1. Voice of Community – This is the best voice to have. It is sweet music to the ears. It teaches, it engages, and it even pauses to listen. Leaders build a strong community. They do not worry solely about feeding fish to their tribe. They selflessly teach their tribe to fish! The leaders with low self-esteem may wonder “but what will I do when my tribe no longer needs me”. The answer is that true leadership is always needed!┬áPeople will look to leaders for guidance, mentorship or simply trust that if leaders are good at one task then they are probably good at many more. These people may also highly recommend strong leaders to other tribes.

Which voice are you?

  • If you are the voice in the wilderness, what are you doing to develop your following?
  • If you are the voice after Armageddon, what are you doing to restore civilization as you knew it?
  • If you are the voice of community, what would you recommend to readers to maintain a strong community?
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Brian Vickery

I love my Vickery Girls - and grandsons! My career has blessed me to the point I was able to start a new consultancy in 2018: Analytic Integrity. I look to provide analytic experience, and business integrity, to an Analytics world while helping data-driven organizations mature. I enjoy teaching and coaching, watching football and basketball, and playing tennis. I graduated UT-Austin.

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  1. Very well said Brian. Grateful I was provided the link. Community is key, and you’ve nailed it. As far as recommendations for maintaining a community, and this goes w/out saying, but avoid the marketing overload, it should not be entirely push, push, push. Engage in a back and forth, give and take, have conversations, hypothesize with your community on “what ifs”. People love “group think outside the box”, keeps focus on the community vs. on individual members, provides a comfort level to those community members who very well may still view themselves as the “voice in the wilderness”. Even though they may be less “vocal” they’re community members none the less. Bring them in.

    • Thanks for the comments. I especially like two points:
      1. Hypothesize w/community on what-ifs
      2. Bring them In when they are less vocal…let them know their voice still counts

      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Personally, I like Elvis Presley’s voice!

    • You are cracking me up, Bruce. If going with that era, I would take Rat Pack over Elvis. Nowadays I have too many voices I appreciate to list here ;)

      You are DEFINITELY one of the voices in my great community!

  3. Brian, aloha. What a great analogy. Will be back tomorrow or Saturday to comment further; had to tell you how great this is. Brian, what a brilliant use of your not sleeping time. Until later, aloha. Janet

    • As always, Janet…you are there to provide a quick compliment along with an awesome aloha. Glad you enjoyed it.


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