Some say that personality is more important than looks alone. Even if this is true, Jessica Ennis should have no reason to fret – for she has both! The Sheffield-born heptathlete has been often praised for a quality that not many ‘celebrities’ can boast of; normality. There isn’t much doubt that despite her various world-class sporting successes, she will remain as normal and accessible as the rest of us. During an interview for the Daily Mail after their engagement, her fiancé said that “It’s like you’re a really good athlete, but the dog needs walking” when relating to her solid, responsible upbringing.
I think that is one of the reasons why Jess is so popular, because people feel that she has something fundamental that they can relate to. She clearly has a grounded way of thinking, and is an approachable, friendly person. In social media terms, she is in a way, a great success. The fact that she has 602,220 followers on Twitter, and the existence of the ‘Jessica Ennis Fans’ account says it all. This however also seems to say a lot about Twitter itself. The amount of daily tweets has grown from 0 to 200 in a five-year period. This success can be seen as a result of the ‘level-playing field’ that the social networking site both created and actively encourages. You could say that this in itself is Twitter’s unique selling point.
Despite the ‘social status’ of different users, if you have an account you can interact with anyone in the world, whether it be a celebrity, politician or an old friend. They may not reply of course, especially when considering that many ‘high status’ users have several million followers and obviously cannot reply to all of them. The point is here though, is that Twitter allows anyone to have a voice. It breaks down the old barriers that existed pre-Twitter between people on the many levels of online society.
It is this lack of centralised control (to a certain extent) that also sums up the success of the Internet as a whole. Nobody really ‘owns’ it, everybody (if they have access) can contribute to it. According to the co-founder of Reddit, a social site related around news, says that any idea of a ‘privately’ controlled global web would immediately contradict, and kill itself. The New York based entrepreneur stated that: “I don’t believe it’s sustainable, because it’s the openness of the Internet that makes it so valuable. It’s the most level playing field in the world.”
If organisations are to succeed in the increasingly vast social space, it seems imperative that they take into account what the elements that cause people to use it in the first place. People, and consumers especially want it to be simple, honest and friendly when they interact with others, and preferably in an arena where they feel to be on the same level with the party they seek interaction with. Maybe, if organisations applied a touch more ‘Ennis philosophy’, they could win social media gold.