Monday, November 11, 2013

Are we all our own marketers? Randi Zuckerberg says no.

 It’s always funny which articles you read stick with you. While I gravitate toward anything food-centric,  the articles I clip (yes physically clip) from the weekend paper are often either those with writing I admire and want to reread or interviews.  Last weekend, a few parts of an interview with Randi Zuckerberg (sister of Facebook’s CEO) resonated with me.

In a discussion about Facebook (where she no longer works) she said friends would say to her “your life looks so amazing.” She’d reply “I’m a marketer; I’m only posting the moments that are amazing.” The interviewer than commented “that drives people crazy about Facebook- that it turns all of us into marketers.” Randi actually disagreed.

I’ve given a lot of thought to this topic as I’m in the “marketing” stage for my book and it's not my favorite part of the process. While I’m certainly not a social media wallflower: I blog, I tweet, FB and “gram” but it's often not super-focused on me. At a gathering with nutritionist colleagues one RD remarked “when you posted a photo of yourself on Halloween it was nice to see, you only post juices and smoothies.” At first I thought perhaps she wasn’t a juice fan but then I realized it was true. I like to stand back a little. I'm more than happy to talk Foodtrainers or nutrition but you will not see my face plastered on all our materials.

 At lunch with a friend, social media came up (as it often does). We talked about tooting your own horn. I mentioned a certain fitness professional I had to unfollow as the constant flow of selfies and me, me, me was irritating. I wasn’t learning about new workout but just being barraged with abs and boobs.  The conversation shifted to a personality who is building an impressive following and my friend said, “it’s just all about them, it’s relentless. She is never shining the light on someone else’s causes or stepping back.”

And so I think it’s a fine line. Yes, from makeup to media we are all shaping an image. I laugh when, on Instagram, people use the hashtag “no filter” to indicate they haven’t manipulated the color of a photo. “This one is real” they are saying even if they took 100 to get that one. Randi Zuckerberg thought of it in terms of storytelling. Maybe even if it is marketing it should be too blatant. Or perhaps in social media, as in life, it’s more interesting when it isn’t all about us. What do you think?
Are we all marketing ourselves? Where is "real" in all of this? And where is the "this person needs to stop" line?
I find it super ironic that there was no mention of Randi's two new books Dot Complicated "untangling our wired lives" or her children's book Dot in the Times article (who's doing her marketing?). And if you're curious about Dot it's "about a young girl called Dot who discovers the fun of playing outside when her mother takes away her tablet, laptop, cellphone, and desktop computer". Sad.


  1. Andrea@WellnessNotesNovember 11, 2013 at 6:20 AM

    I read that article, too! :) I think it's interesting that she says that we tell a story on FB. I think the problem can be that it's never the whole story. It's often just a very isolated moment that can make our lives look great. On the other hand are the people who constantly complain about everything... When I look at FB, IG, etc., I always look at it as various snapshots. Some of the snapshots I like better than others. I like seeing some new ideas, information, etc. and not only "look at me" stuff.

  2. You're so right it's never the whole story and if it is do we want to hear "right before this photo my kids were fighting and I have a stomach ache" we don't. Such a fine line between too "marketed" and too "real" right?

  3. I try not to be too "Facebooky" and think I do a pretty good job showing my realistic side on my blog. And yet...I'll rarely put a bad picture of myself so I guess I could be a bit more "real" too.

    Will check out Dot...I am intrigued.

  4. We all edit, don't we? However, there's a difference between being selective about what we show and showing too much, too often...

  5. I smiled when you said that you were annoyed because I have felt this way as well. It crosses the line from sharing to being obsessed. The other thing that you are saying about not shining a light on someone this blog world most people are generous but what gets me annoyed are those that you support their comment...and they never comment's almost saying that they are better than you, busier than you, their time is worth more than yours.....can you tell I'm not my sunny self ? ;)
    I think you do with Facebook what is comfortable for you, some people want to expose more and some don't :)