The cantankerous genius, the intellectual with the emotional capacity of a two-year old, Hollywood employs the stereotype frequently in characters such as House (from the show of the same name) and Sheldon in the Big Bang Theory. They are difficult, at best, but we forgive their foibles because of their impressive intellect. While many of us striving for knowledge may have a higher patience level for those with a condescending attitude and big brains, social media has leveled the playing field and made this same kind of intellectual superiority hard to stomach.
While your organization may be the industry leader and have a brain trust second-to-none, alienating an audience is no way to increase membership. Everyone who represents your organization, from the front line on the phone to the executive director, is in “membership.” If I call to ask a question and I feel I’m putting you out, that may be the last call you get from me. If I follow you on Twitter and try to strike-up a conversation with you, which then goes unanswered, I WILL take it personally. Even if your Twitter account is your own, I will attribute it to your organization and your silence will be perceived as a lack of interest in me and I will think twice about membership.
Social media has increased a potential member’s expectation of service and attention. We tweet rock stars and expect them to answer. We tweet giant airlines because they’re boarding late and we expect immediate attention (or at least a discount). Some would say there’s been an over-importance placed on the individual. We’re all “experts”; we’re all important; we’re all driven by instant gratification.
Do you find this to be true? Are you guilty of it?