Governments around the world are increasingly relying on social media to improve public services and the migration of services to technologically enabled platforms inadvertently leads to influencer engagement online. The concept of global awakening is discussed in stages, from the origin and prediction to examples in the developing world and even the UK. The identification of influencers have been considered in and categorized into four groups. The development of software tools are evident attempts of simplifying the identification and engagement process for service providers. Some governments are moving away from bespoke solutions to embrace mainstream corporate solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce, this is justified by a tendency amongst modern governments resemble corporate brand behaviour and to use the services of marketing agencies for the purposes of nation branding. Various guidance documents exist from around the world to aid civil servants in their interaction with citizens and credible models exist for brands to adopt when migrating to SCRM.
There is however a very dark side to social media: As I sat with my fiancée in the coffee shop of Oxford’s most prominent bookshop, we could not help to overhear the conversation where a University lecturer was busy radicalising a non-suspecting learner from Africa. It was a captive situation because he was the dissertation supervisor of the learner – and we could hear how the learner was “thanking” the lecturer for advice that was tantamount to creating anarchy and chaos through the use of social media. It was an affirmation of my suspicion that our educational institutions may be actively aiding our governments in the process of influencer marketing, by radicalising students with what we term “democratic enlightenment”, keeping in touch with those students, and using them to instigate large scale revolts, which is effectively what happened during the Arab spring. The instigators of the Arab spring was unlikely to be people from the street with now IT skills – they knew what they were doing and were liaising closely with the West at the time.
This publication contain useful insight on social media marketing, but also provides a rare glimpse into the dark side of social media exploitation, which will create a deeper understanding of social media practices around the world. It raises profound ethical concerns over the misuse of social media for short term geopolitical gains. Business, marketing and political science enthusiasts will find this a great resource.