The Power of Social Media


Tuesday, 5 January 2010 at 5:00 am Pacific USA Time.

The power of social media is in relationships. Relationships are not that hard to "make." Someone follows you on Twitter or you follow them, OK that's the start of a possible relationship. People add each other as friends on Facebook, LinkedIn, or another site. Well, that's a connection, and these connections are meant to be personal.

All of these systems have ways to send messages to individual people, or to broadcast something out to everybody. That's when your media gets really social. :) You can now stand on a box, type something once, and anybody who's interested in you gets your message, in some cases pushed to them. You can re-broadcast things other people said (like in retweeting). So the pool ripples out.

Let's look at some dictionary definitions of "social" to remind ourselves of what many people are expecting from their social networking.

  • pertaining to, devoted to, or characterized by friendly companionship or relations
  • seeking or enjoying the companionship of others; friendly; sociable; gregarious
  • of or pertaining to the life, welfare, and relations of human beings in a community

Community, companionship, and friendly. OK, when I am following HTC, Vonage, or Plantronics on Twitter, I'm not expecting to become their friends. I'm looking to hear business info and possibly get help. Those are my expectations.

When I am following regular people, my expectations are mostly "social." Therefore, you will go farther with social media if you are social. I want people to connect to me. How can you feel connected to me? If you just pop up and advertise to me, it feels like spam. I do not mistake that for friends or companionship.

And don't forget that social media makes it really easy for me to DISCONNECT from you. I unfollow you on Twitter. I unfriend you on Facebook or stop following your fan page. I can disconnect from you with a few clients, and then you've lost me possibly forever.

The magic of social networking for business is connecting with people and making them feel like a part of something great. I hope your social media "expert" will tell you how to connect with people. Hopefully, your social media expert is also an expert on human psychology and behaviour!


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Categories: Just An Observation

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