Full immersion. Webinars. Videos. eBooks. Conference calls. Research. Reading. Reading. More reading. This, in a succession of fragmented sentences, was my first day at Radian6 as a Community Manager. And I am in love. Radian6 was giving me the diving gear to go deep in the social media waters where I previously only skimmed across the top.

As part of my first day, I was asked: Why social media? Why is it important to the business world? On my third eBook, I started to really think about that question. My advertising background shouts answers like these:

  • Brand favorability
  • Brand awareness
  • Reach
  • Customer service

But the advertising side isn’t the only side. Social media is not all about making brands look good.

Social media establishes community. That word is not new but it’s something all can benefit from because it creates social capital. In this environment, the collective can do things for one another. People can help businesses and businesses can help people. It’s a place to share, learn, grow and thrive.

So let’s go back to that question. Why is social media important to the business world? The answer is the same reason why social media is important to me. So important, in fact, that I got a job here. It’s because it creates community. And where there’s community, there’s social capital. And those are waters worth testing. Or in my case, diving into head first.