Question of the week
Today’s question of the week is an important one for our civics. The question states: Is rhetoric impeding our ability to have smart conversations about key issues on social media? It was a former president who said: “Rhetoric is a poor substitute for action, and we have trusted only to rhetoric. If we are really to be a great nation, we must not merely talk; we must act big”. Theodore Roosevelt.
I feel that President Roosevelt is right. Talking doesn’t help anyone action does.
However, this quote was stated long before Social Media became a thing. I feel that Social Media has turned rhetoric into a seeled bubble that people cannot escape from. You see it all over your Twitter feed. If you compose something someone disagrees with or you share a video that points to fact-based claims you will find yourself in the line of fire from those who disagree with your views. I once shared a video which had a man speaking to a crowd of people lambasting the white race. I agreed with his views on the subject. He was articulate and clear with his facts. However, after sharing that video I received one man who had a dark spirit. He thought the video insulting. So, after trying to talk reason with him I just blocked him. This man was in his rhetoric bubble and their was no way he’d leave.
However, I think we all do this from time-to-time. We like what we like and we tend to gravitate toward those who share our thoughts and remove those who do not.
When it comes to Social Media we are marketing ourselves with every post. So, it would be wise to explore this from a social media marketing essay’s perspective.
The thing is that many brands feel that they can get away with something based on numbers alone. That doesn’t work if the rhetorical message is not a great one. If we can explore how social media can improve brands using the three appeals to reason then we could form a better social media world.
From the article titled “Social Media: Is Your Content All Rhetoric?” we get these three tips to fix your problem.
“Aristotle identified three appeals of rhetoric, sometimes called the three proofs. These appeals can be likened to three ingredients that should inform all of your content, seasoning your messaging and communication to your audience’s taste.
The first appeal is ethos: the appeal to authority, sometimes called the appeal to credibility. In short, it’s why you should listen to me and trust what I have to say.
Our perception of the messenger changes our perception of the message. We’re less likely to listen to somebody who we believe has a different agenda, can’t demonstrate sufficient expertise on the topic or – on an even more basic level – is simply “not like us.”
For your message or content to work, there has to be some common ground or alignment between you and the audience. There has to be mutual respect. If not, this has to be addressed first or the audience will simply reject what you have to say” (2016.)
Case in point If you are a rood company or you act like you don’t care in other aspects of communication such as phone calls and emails then why should I listen to you on social media anyway? If you don’t reply to my phone calls and emails then I am less likely to care what you have to say about anything on social media.
“Logos is the appeal to reason and was Aristotle’s answer to Plato’s concerns that rhetoric was all style and no substance. Logos means you still need to back up claims with appropriate evidence and reasoned argument.
A perfect example of everyday logos would be a courtroom. Two sides argue a case based on the same evidence and the same established facts. Yet each interprets those facts and suggests alternative explanations or context to argue a different version of truth: guilty or innocent.
Just as in the courtroom, you have to address and ideally refute the counter arguments put forward by the other side of the debate. If you understand the audience and have researched the viewpoints they might hold about the topic – something social media makes easier – you’ll know what the likely objections or criticismsto your message may be. Then you can address these objections up front within the content: “Some people might say . but our evidence shows .” Otherwise, plan how to respond to the likely reactions in advance, scripting various responses so everyone is prepared to answer the hardest questions and handle the curliest of criticisms” (2016.)
This is an easy one. Simply plan for the other side. It is so easy to research the other side of a topic however, people don’t want to. However, as a marketer and a social media user it would be wise to at least have a retort for those who would declare that your evidence is not correct.
The question is why do people send such mean posts? Why do I receive angry tweets when I post something that goes against someone’s views? It is because of pathos which appeals to the emotions of others. They are not thinking logically most of the time they are letting their emotions type the tweet. “It might sound counterintuitive, but pathos may be the most powerful of all three appeals as our decisions and reactions are far more emotional than they are rational” (2016.) A taxi company in Australia had people write tweets using the hashtag #YourTaxis in an attempt to have people return to the world of taxi’s and leave Uber. However, it didn’t work. People were insulting taxi’s and the cab company because they were typing with emotion.
“This may be why, in the absence of anything more constructive to say, the #YourTaxis campaign went all in on an emotional appeal. At an industry conference before the launch of the #YourTaxis campaign, the agency explained the strategy would “… build on the emotional connection Melburnians have catching a good ol’ cab.”
Of course, the social media audience did have a strong emotional connection to taxis – a negative one. Where this blatant appeal to pathos failed was in completely ignoring how the audience felt about the taxi industry. You can’t persuade an angry person to be happy without first addressing the cause of the distress.
All of this was obvious to Aristotle back when a social audience was limited by how far your voice could carry” (2016.)
While it was clear to Aristotle it is not so in 2017 with social media.references Social Media: Is Your Content All Rhetoric?
Content Marketing Institute
Retrieved on February 7, 2017