Social In Practice And Form, Or:
Why The Best Entrepreneurs Use Social Media To Tell A Story
By Lewis Fein
Accessibility is the essence of credibility, the chance for people to see and meet an entrepreneur they respect; the opportunity to press the flesh, take photographs and have a conversation with the man or woman responsible for a best selling product or service. It is an invitation to make social media a live event, an occasion to transform what we see and read, to make the virtual real.
The entrepreneur who embraces these principles and welcomes questions, because he himself has a seemingly endless supply of his own questions (which he writes on cards, pages and the miscellany of his mobile office), is the individual who knows how to personalize social media by being, well, social.
That entrepreneur is Eric Poses, Founder of All Things Equal, Inc., makers of Loaded Questions® and a series of other commercially successful games for creative minds. Those games, made with pride in the USA, are a social medium that complement social media.
They are the inspiration behind Eric’s second annual road trip, where, at the helm of his customized Airstream RV (with the logos of his various games placed on the sides of his vehicle), retailers and consumers can see this sociable man create a social phenomenon.
That combination is a stark contrast to the noise and dehumanization of the web, which reduces communications into a series of manufactured statements, an assembly line of generic promotions and empty catchphrases, so companies can gather “likes” and “followers” without writing a word of substance or producing a single sentence of style.
Quantity trumps quality in this scenario, while undermining the very purpose of media (social or otherwise): To give people news, relevant content that appeals to their respective needs and interests.
Eric’s posts are less frequent but more valuable than the blather that emanates from assorted “content mills.” He showcases his products, mixing news and humor (along with periodic bits of wry commentary) to add context to his stops in Atlanta and Stone Mountain, Georgia; Bentonville, Arkansas; Amarillo, Texas, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, among other places.
These missives from the road, which take Eric and his readers on a tour of the nation’s highways and byways, revealing the diversity of America and the diversity of the land itself, from the plains and prairies to the sunsets of the Southwest and the portraits of Portland and the morning mist of summer in the Pacific Northwest. The journey is an ad for America, powered by a moving ad, look for that iconic RV, on behalf of the games retailers sell.
I emphasize this point for two reasons.
First, I am a longtime fan of Loaded Questions®. I view Eric’s postings on Facebook, and share them with friends and colleagues.
Secondly, I believe this type of outreach offers rewards no conventional marketing campaign can match and no traditional form of advertising can equal.
I consider hitting the road, and being a mindful driver (which is to say, an observant driver), to be a better way of studying the economic and cultural health of the country, picture the traveling salesman as a field doctor, than circulating an online survey about this topic, which most people will not answer or delete.
Seeing the nation from the seat of an RV, which is a better vantage point than sitting at a desk and accessing Google Earth, is a reminder that America is a union proud and strong, but she is (and should remain) a land of many; many voices, many accents, many ideas and ideals, and many customs and beliefs.
These encounters, and their corresponding tributes on Facebook and other outlets, are a chance to use social media to tell a story: To have an entrepreneur, a man of innate curiosity and creativity, bring us along, by the hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands, as his RV makes it way up and across America.
The route is there, the medium is obvious and the message is clear.
Follow that RV!
Lewis Fein is a writer and media relations consultant. He addresses a variety of issues involving branding, marketing, social media and corporate communications. Lewis resides in Los Angeles. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.