Hashtags are to the social web what emoticons were to Web 1.0 and TXTing. While both are forms of expression and sentiment, there is one subtle, but vital difference. Hashtags are not only part of online culture, they are defining a new era of communication on the Web and IRL (in real life). With over 140 million Tweets flying across Twitter every day, hashtags surface a method to the madness – the ability to group conversations into an organized timeline. But what started out as a way to index conversations in Twitter has now substantially altered how people convey, relay and discover information in and out of the popular nichework. The hashtag has also become an effective form of #selfexpression.
We are now entering an era of sociopolitical influence, a framework for governments that influences and is influenced by its constituencies through real life interaction and now, new media. Some may say that this isn’t anything new. Certain governments over the years embraced the aspects of digital community in Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. Many also believe that President Obama is the first “Social Media” President. I, however, am a far more pragmatic optimist. While many governments and also President Obama have embraced media to learn, interact, and also influence citizens, we are merely at the beginning of a new age of digital democracy where people play an active role in government now and over time.
There’s an old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Twitter is a paradox that redefines that old saying to, “If it’s broke, don’t fix it, because it works.”
For all intents and purposes, Twitter shouldn’t work, yet 200 million people (and bots) have created accounts in this thriving information egosystem. Now, news no longer breaks, it Tweets. Celebrities use it daily to connect directly with fans and also augment their income streams. Politicians and governments use Twitter to communicate with constituents and one another. Everyday people rely on Twitter to find information and share experiences. And for those more “influential” Twitter users, connectedness pays off in the form rewards, recognition, and compensation.
This guest post is by Michael Stelzner, the founder of Social Media Examiner and author of the new book Launch.
Social and selling just don’t mix. Have you ever been to a wedding sponsored by Nike? Does a future where restaurant tables display infomercials sound appealing?
The last thing anyone wants in a social context is a commercial. If you’re responsible for marketing your business, the time for change is now.
If you’re reacting, someone else defines what you’re going to do, rather than defining what people need to do.
Your businesses faces great change. This statement is true about customers, competitors, and everyone else affecting market behavior. The question is, what are you going to do about it?
In part 2 of my discussion with Revision3 CEO Jim Louderback, we review the importance of community in the very fabric of the programming and overall production. As Jim explains, Revision3 got its name from the idea that television is undergoing its third revision. Revision 1 was the three broadcast networks. Revision 2 was cable television, which as Jim highlights, helped bring television closer to the audience. Revision 3 is rooted in “breaking the fourth wall,” a popular expression in theater for connecting the seated audience with the performance on stage. Internet television opens up a new paradigm for connecting through the camera to PCs and mobile devices. The new era of content producers must create content that’s not only engaging but participatory. Content merely becomes one pillar of community.
Sometimes the path of least resistance unwinds into a far more complicated and arduous journey than we anticipated. In times of change, taking the path less traveled, although initially daunting, proves easier and far more rewarding in the long run. Such is true for social media.
I read a review about Engage once that read, “Brian Solis takes the fun out of social media.” The author’s point was that the book took an academic approach when the industry could benefit from a simplified focus on best practices, case studies, and actionable takeaways.
Exhibitor Magazine ran a feature story on new media and how it is changing the world of event marketing. In our discussion, we expanded the scope beyond events to discuss how people were forcing the evolution of business overall. The result is something quite profound. People are now taking control of their online experiences driven by how they connect and to whom in the social web. This shift changes how people find, share and discover information within their networks of relevance and also reshapes the decision making process while influencing new behavior and outcomes.
Long time friend Jim Louderback joins us for the latest episode of Revolution. Jim is the CEO of Revision3, a leading Internet television network. Founded by Digg’s Kevin Rose, Jay Adelson, and David Prager, Revision3 creates and produces original episodic, community-driven programs watched by what could only be described as a very passionate fan base. The network gets over 65 millions views and over 19 million unique viewers per month.
Customer-centricity or getting closer to customers is often the focus of many executive meetings I attend these days. The question always arises, “how can we use new media to get closer to customers?”
The answer is not, develop a social media strategy to start engaging with customers. The answer is, change. Any organization that focuses on operations, margins, and efficiencies over customer experiences will find itself unfavored by tomorrow’s connected customer. It’s difficult to see the customer or empathize with them if you’re focused on a spreadsheet. It’s impossible to change if you can’t see what it is they value.
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.