When something bad happens, you will see #hashtags rise like bubbles in a glass of soda.
Today, the path of least resistance is to get emotional, post a hashtag and move on. There is no follow through.
Hashtags can be detrimental to a cause if used improperly
When influential people, particularly political types begin using hashtag and memes, it communicates that someone is actually doing something about a problem. The problem is nothing is actually done. It gives the appearance of action without any substantive action.
In 2014, the terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapped 300 girls from their boarding school in Nigeria. Famously, the “Chibok Girls” became known around the world. It appears everyone was speaking out and demanding their freedom. This is a healthy response to injustice.
A few weeks later, like the bubbles in the glass of soda – the outrage and hashtags vanished.
What ended up happening?
Essentially nothing. Boko Haram, the media and others exploited the girls. Were they released? Nope. Four years later, over 200 girls are languishing in the hands of terrorists. In addition, Boko Haram is holding hundreds of other children captive that are not counted with the Chibok Girls. What about them? Where is their hashtag?
The problem with a “#hashtag” movement is that it is all about emotion, it contains no plan and no perseverance. There is no real commitment because the hashtag itself is transient and short-lived by design.
Hashtags are created to trend on social media until they are knocked off the top by other trendier hashtags.
Not all hashtags are bad. However, if you want to create a #movement, don’t make the hashtag the main driver. A hashtag is a spark.
If you want to drive cultural change or advocate for the freedom of the Chibok Girls, you better have a ton of fuel to keep the fire burning until the objective is realized. It may take months or years. Nothing good comes easy. How committed are you?
A better way:
Build your tribe, plan your mission and pursue your cause relentlessly. When you’ve made some decent progress, add a hashtag.
Note regarding image: I believe First Lady Michelle Obama’s response to the kidnapping of the Chibok Girls in 2014 was a healthy and good response to this injustice. However, it indicated something was being done at the top of the international power structure. We all failed to follow through in fighting for their freedom.
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Posted September 6, 2012: In last week’s post, “Apple Sauce: Vanilla Ice’s Advice to Apple” we discussed Apple’s ability to remain a Game Changer in the absence of iconic rebel-leader, Steve Jobs who lead with ‘WHY’ and challenging the status quo. Today, we’re going to dive a little deeper into the organization, including an exclusive interview with a veteran Apple team member.
“When the rhetoric of success (“We’re successful because we do these specific things”) replaces penetrating understanding and insight (“We’re successful because we understand WHY we do these specific things and under what conditions they would no longer work”), decline will very likely follow.” –Jim Collins (How the Mighty Fall)
We must ask ourselves a question. Was Apple’s success driven by creating innovative products or something intangible that compelled people to join their tribe and buy their innovative products? In an interview with the Telegraph UK, Apple’s chief designer Sir Jonathan Ive (creator of the iPad and iPhone) said this; “Our goal and what gets us excited is to try to make great products. We trust that if we are successful people will like them, and if we are operationally competent we will make revenue, but we are very clear about our goal.” That statement does not echo ‘Think Different’ or challenging the status quo. (more…)
Posted August 29, 2012: Have you heard the news? iPhone 5 is being released this fall! Before you run out and get in line at the Apple Store, you must know that a new version of iPhone will probably be released before Christmas. Let’s not forget about the new iPad!
I have been an Apple (Mac) junkie since my freshman year at college (1993). I’m astonished when I reflect on the impact Apple has had over the last 30 years. I’ve owned almost every type of Apple device and made good money on Apple stock (that I wished I held on to, but that is for another day).
I recently visited the Apple Store and had one of the most frustrating customer experiences I have ever had. I shared this with a few family members and two of them had similar experiences. The experience was very un-Apple like.
I asked myself, “What if Steve Jobs was watching our Apple experiences, what would he think”? (more…)
I subscribe to Seth’s blog. It’s a great resource and very enlightening.Seth Godin’s Blog. Some leadership advice from Seth.
Do more vs. Do better: “The most important and difficult form of management (verging on leadership) is to encourage people to do better.” (read more)
Problems and Constraints: “A problem is solvable. A constraint must be lived with.” (read more)
I encourage you to dig a little deeper with this material. I’ve found that ANYTHING I can do to improve my knowledge or sharpen my skills brings value to my customers and team!