The Big Picture Implications of Embracing Social Media

There is a famous Roger Ails quote that I love to use in my presentations and in discussions with Social Media Skeptics:

“It’s a shame a man has to use gimmicks like this to get elected,” Richard Nixon remarked to Mr. Ailes, about the televised presidential debates.

“Television is not a gimmick, and if you think it is, you’ll lose again,” Mr. Ailes retorted.

Whether you are a fan of Mr. Ailes personally or not (and I’m certainly not), this quote speaks volumes.

A recent Associated Press-CNBC pollshowed that half of all Americans think that Facebook is a “passing fad”. (However, more than 40% of all American adults log in to the site at least once a week and Facebook is poised to sign up its one billionth user this year.)

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I think that these poll respondents, like Richard Nixon, are scared that they are going to be left behind by the increasingly all-consuming social media/mobile technology tidal wave.

Well, they should be.

The concepts behind social media have many bigger picture implications – it’s all much more than simply having a place to tweet about what you just ate or post a photo of your vacation.

It’s not as much about the tools as it is about the process.  People get so hung up on where and when they should post/tweet/update, but focus less on the why and the what.

It’s about being comfortable online. Its 2012, people. Get comfortable online or perish.

It’s about thinking critically about what you share with others and when.

It’s about creating dynamic policies for your organization and company around sharing, responding and interacting with clients and stakeholders.

It’s about stopping to develop a plan, as opposed to only putting out fires.

It’s about testing ideas to see what works, and failing and learning from failure.

It’s about truly evaluating your product, your service or your cause. It’s about self-evaluation, asking yourself – Why exactly would someone care?

It’s about finding new and compelling ways to tell your story.

It’s about being focused on your impact and the ways that you are helping people/changing lives/adding value to the world.

It’s about destroying the status quo and being open-minded.

With one-way communication, it is a lot easier to ignore your customers and stakeholders. When you have a symphony of crickets responding to your last Facebook post, it’s harder to ignore.

What do you think are the biggest implications of the social media revolution? Anything to add? Please leave your thoughts in the Comments section. Thanks for reading!    

Comments: 2

  • Roger Hoyt says:

    It really is about connecting and building relationships with people. That’s why they call it “Social Media.” There is interaction when you Socialize, therefore, it needs to be a two way street when you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.

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