I’m Not Talking to You

Credit: Natalie Dee

Social Media continues to fascinate me.

If you stop and think about it for a moment, we’re presented with something special…something almost too simple to appreciate.

Essentially, we have been given a gift – a looking glass into the thoughts, opinions,  feedback, and dialogue that represents a snapshot of market sentiment and behavior.

So, what do we do with this gift?

A few, but growing faction of businesses realize the value in listening and learning. Others focus energy on conversation monitoring and mining. Well, and most are either incognizant of this incredible conversational microscope, but will soon awaken to the reality and influence of the outside world.

Whether you believe that Social Media symbolizes the future of all media and communications, at the very least, we can agree that it represents the democratization of information and the equalization of authority. Value on the other hand, is debatable.

The so-called wisdom of the crowds can be disappointing at times. It can also surprise and inspire us. Our returns in Social Media stem from our investment into it – through dedication, heart, soul, value, and wisdom.

In most cases of corporate Social Media, conversations equate to chatter, which to be honest, is child’s play. It’s a perpetual cycle of moving and reacting and I have yet to see the true value, scale, and return in responding to everyone on Twitter. Yet, if you attend any conference where Social Media is at the crux of the experience, you’d believe that Twitter is the only social network on the Web.

The fact is that participation should resemble an integrated and streamlined system of strategic fieldwork (digital anthropology), research, analysis, internalization, service, systematic workflow for translating information into meaningful action and growth, the outward communication of support, empowerment, and vision, and the evolution inspired by the absolute experience.

Everything must start with a plan and covenant that established a strategy for presence, not visibility, and the actions that define and strengthen it over time. This should not be news however.

You’re either a host or guest.

You’re either a leader or a follower.

You have to collaborate within in order to collaborate outside – prior to engagement. Without an infrastructure to truly support what you will indeed learn in the “now” Web and the internal support to adapt to best meet the needs of your customers and influencers today and tomorrow, then what do we accomplish by spending and applying significant resources to the proverbial conversation?

We’re all learning together, and perhaps for me, that’s where the magic lies.

It’s time to shift from a mindset of monitoring and mining to one of collaboration, leadership, and justified adaptation.

Give them something to talk about…

MarketingSherpa released a report that surveyed social media marketers in late 2008 about the effectiveness of their practices. I thought you might find the data interesting and helpful.

eMarketer translated the data into a visual presentation for our review and analysis.

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Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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