What Is Social Media?

September 9, 2009
By Lisa Barone in Social Media

I was going through my feedreader this morning and found Gwenbell had posted this video over at her blog. I watched it and sat there mesmerized for four minutes and 22 seconds. Now it’s your turn. Give it a watch and try not to let your jaw gape open the whole time, if you can.

Crazy, right?

I’m almost scared of the social media represented in that video. It looks intimidating. Like it could bowl me over and I’d never get my life back. And…that’s probably how a lot of executives and higher ups feel about it, too. That’s why they’re so slow to adopt. Why they’re skeptical. Why they’d rather you just keep throwing money into the same old things that have “always worked”. Only, they never worked.

And that’s a problem.

But that’s not what social media is. It’s not a fad or an addiction or something people need to run away from. Social media is people. It’s your ability to be you, as loud as you can, in front of those people in order to get their attention. It’s an opportunity to build trust in your core group by simply showing them who you are and going out of your way for them. It’s how you make money by being human, instead of being the douchebag you traditionally were online (and, you know, off.).

Around the four minute mark, the video calls social media a fundamental shift in how we communicate. I think it’s actually us going back to how we used to communicate. Before “communication” became “marketing”. Before “customers” became numbers. Social media is realizing that your cold marketing message just doesn’t cut it anymore. Consumers want you. And if you want them, you need to give them what they want.

That’s what social media is to me: It’s using the tools around you to be YOU as loudly in order to attract YOUR  kind. It’s being human to market to other humans.

I’m curious how you define it for yourself and your business.

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