Social Media means so many things to so many people, I thought I would add my 2 cents.
I want to start by agreeing with Gary Vaynerchuk in saying that there is no such thing as “social media”. Social media is just a term to describe the current state of the internet. Just in the same way web 2.0 was the phrase a few years back. This is explained in more detail in the video below.
Watch on YouTube > > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8Ino97rEfM
I believe the term social media will disappear and people will talk about “social business” instead. Eventually the word social will be dropped and the ideas and methodology in social will just be part of the way people do “business”.
The Wikipedia definition is:
Social media includes web- and mobile-based technologies which are used to turn communication into interactive dialogue among organizations, communities, and individuals. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.” When the technologies are in place, social media is ubiquitously accessible, and enabled by scalable communication techniques
Social media, in my eyes is a mind set not a tool set. It is not just Facebook or Twitter, it is a whole new way of looking at the world of business and a whole new way of operating in it. A company needs to make it part of their culture and not just their strategy.
Today the majority of businesses are just trying to use it to force marketing communications down people’s throats as if it were a TV commercial. They don’t get it and they are missing a trick. Social media is an opportunity for you to communicate with the people who touch your business and give them a service currently reserved for royalty and rock stars.
Social media has the opportunity to touch so many different parts of business: sales, R&D, customer service, public relations, to name but a few. I cannot think of any part of a business which could not make use of social media in some way. Whatever part of a business you are involved in, you could use social to communicate better and to work more effectively as a team. Even if you work alone, you can use the social web to learn how other people in your industry do things and to help you develop your approach and find other people who you can work with.
If you remember one thing from this post, make it this:
“It is not about having a social media strategy, it is about aligning social to your business strategy”
If you want to figure out what you should be doing with social media, go to see your CEO and ask him what his or her top three priorities are and then go ask a few “social media” companies how they can help you achieve them. If you cannot see a correlation between what you want to achieve and what they want to sell you, then find someone else to talk to. It might help you to read my post on What is the future of social media.
And just incase any of you don’t believe me about how important social media is, check out this presentation below.
View on SlideShare > > http://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/2005829#
I agree with almost everything said. I believe that you should not be looking to just create a social media strategy. You should be looking to align social to your business strategy. Instead of thinking what can I do with social media, you should thinking about how social media can help you do something you are already trying to do – just in a better way.
I think the people who make the most of social media will be those people who figure out how to utilise social media data to build mutually beneficial relationships with the people who touch their businesses. I share some more thoughts on what I think the future holds for social media here.
What do you think social media is? Is there anything you would like to add to this article? Do you agree with how I have defined social media?