Social Media is the use of “Any Media” to interact socially. The phenomena that is causing all of the uproar is the increasing adoption of ever more powerful socially adaptable technologies.
Remember! Direct communication among peers and others driven by our needs as humans to interact for knowledge, confirmation, exposure of mistrusted resources, etc. pre-dates all modern technologies. It advanced through “Smoke Signals, Gutenberg, Marconi and now The Internet via smart phones.”
There have been some individuals who have stated that they do not know of any firms that were impacted by negative social buzz. I beg to differ as a direct victim of this within a firm that I worked for in the recent past. The firm I worked for did not initially take the negative buzz seriously. They acknowledged it, yet stated that the employees should not respond to it and just continue to maintain a high level of quality work, that that would overcome the impact. They were wrong! By the time they acknowledged and began to address what became very apparent, tremendous damage was done!
If you own a business, do not let anyone fool you. The failure to establish sophisticated listening posts to analyze the “noise” so that you can more accurately assess any impact on your markets and/or company is a tactical mistake! What you do not know can hurt you, whether you now realize this or not.
This also weighs in when considering opportunities for expanding or revising your market demographics. Social data is increasingly becoming a crucial component to base assumptions upon when determining the focus and execution of marketing campaigns.
Your audience is rapidly adopting technology for mobile and immediate communication to express ideas, concerns, to illicit opinions, to express fears, to galvanize others to action, etc. If you do not adapt to these same technologies in a way that gains you trust as a respected participant, you will experience a range of dynamic impact that you are not prepared to measure or effectively react to.
The road to social technology adoption is littered with victims. Some very prominent such as Palm. This is a firm that owned a platform particularly positioned to jump ahead as use patterns indicated a strong desire for mobile, compact and powerful convergence of data and voice. Instead, they blinked and Apple surged ahead on the strength of the iPhone and later broadened their dynamic range with the iPad.
Your customers and others crucial to your positioning within your markets are shifting to this new increasingly important range of personal, socially adaptable technologies. Even IT departments of major firms are adopting these technologies, which were being resisted previously due to proper concerns over security and integrity of internal networks. This is now very apparent, as you are witnessing RIM (Research in Motion) and other primary providers to corporate clients shifting their production to these socially favored technology platforms.
You must realize that real-time interaction with your marketplace via powerful “Social Technologies” is no longer an option! When those of us who are serious students of the amplification of social interaction that has transpired due to the increased adoption of technologies enhancing social interaction check our data, we see ever increasing ability for individuals to move ever increasing numbers of others to shift opinions and consequent activities. Witness what is happening in the Middle East right now!
The very forum that we are participating in indicates the intense impact this subject is generating.