Chapter 4: The Social Media Cosmos

Summary  •  Outline  •  Study Questions  •  Flashcards  •  Quiz

"Content is king, but context is God. You can put out good content, but if it ignores the context (e.g. dynamics) of the platform on which it appears, it can still fall flat." – Gary Vaynerchuk

Chapter Summary

Because the social media universe is so complex, dynamic and ever-changing, it is helpful to examine it from different angles. This chapter presents three different perspectives that can enrich your understanding of the social media world: 1) functional perspective, which introduces the “ML (most like) Plus Minus” approach to describe the unique functionality of social media platforms, 2) dynamics perspective, which highlights underlying usage patterns of key factors (e.g., word selection, image choice) that typically emerge from a platform’s attributes, and 3) experiential perspective, which identifies how to develop the right mindset to learn the right lessons from your social media successes as well as mistakes. Developing the right mindset involves cultivating your curiosity, thinking experimentally and building the right habits. By doing so, your chances of learning the right lessons is greatly enhanced.

Chapter Outline
  • Functional Perspective
  • Dynamics Perspective
  • Experiential Perspective
  • Conclusion

Chapter Deep Dive Study Questions

These exercises are designed to enhance your understanding of the chapter's key ideas, principles and approaches.

Refer to Table 4.2. a) Circle three ratings that you believe are inaccurate and three other ratings that you believe are accurate. b) Provide justification for your judgment.

Using ML +- thinking, create an explanation of a social media platform that is not widely used for a) an audience that has limited social media experience, and b) an audience with a lot of social media experience. Provide your rationale.

Assume you are limited to only 3 factors from Table 4.2 to make strategic decisions about social media channels (e.g., platforms). Which 3 would you pick? Provide your rationale and how you went about making the decision.

Chapter Flashcards

[qdeck] [q] Dynamics Perspective
[a] Approaching social media by examining how users make use of a platform, rather than an inherent characteristic of a platform. Factors such as time sensitivity (How important is the timing of the post?), word selection (How important are the words chosen in the post?) and image choice (How important are images in the post?), represent the underlying usage patterns that typically emerge from a platform’s attributes.
[q] Experiential Perspective
[a] Approaching social media by critically examining your own social media practices.
[q] Functional Perspective
[a] Approaching social media in terms of the unique functions it performs, taking into account what your tools are intended to do and how they are actually used.
[q] ML +- thinking
[a] Most like (ML) plus or minus is a formula for understanding social media platforms. This approach has the strategist answer the following questions:

  1. What familiar tool or activity is the social media most like?
  2. What is a feature that is added to the familiar tool or activity?
  3. What is a feature that is subtracted from the familiar tool or activity?


Chapter Quiz

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