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Posts Tagged ‘Marjorie Signer’

Explaining Social Media to Businesses in 2 Words.

Posted by Marjorie Signer on May 12, 2009

As I was enjoying my visit to the New Media Cincy Unconference(#newmediacincy)trend setter and uber-successful marketing queen of all things important to women Debba Haupert (@girlfriendology) asked “How do you explain social media to your clients when you say the word Twitter and they look at you like you’ve just begun speaking Martian?”

 Giggling, Sara Carbaugh (@rightclickos) and I looked at one another and in unison said “You Don’t!”

Now that’s a pretty flippant answer and wholly unsocial for two gals standing in the middle of 60 people who use a dozen or more platforms to socialize 24/7. But the fact that we both said it so quickly tells an awful lot about the growing divide between businesses who “get it” and those that don’t.

 So what’s the more gentle and persuasive way to shepherd our 20th Century colleagues into the light?  Here’s a quick and dirty summary of what social media can mean to business and the single most compelling reason your friendly neighborhood business owners should care:

Many thanks to Brian Solis for these wonderfully clear definitions:

Social Media (noun): social media describes the onlinetools that people use to share content, profiles, opinions, insights, experiences, perspectives and media itself, thus facilitating conversations and interaction online between groups of people. These tools include blogs, message boards, podcasts, micro blogs, lifestreams, bookmarks, networks, communities, wikis, and vlogs.

 Social Media (verb): is the democratization of content and the understanding of the role people play in the process of not only reading and disseminating information, but also how they share and create content for others to participate. It is the shift from a broadcast mechanism to a many-to-many model, rooted in a conversational format between authors and people.

In a nutshell, social media breaks down the walls of authority, hierarchy and secrecy and gives all people, regardless of race, creed, culture, economic status, or education the opportunity to share their opinion. More importantly, social media affords us all an opportunity to participate in robust discussions that will hopefully bring many truths to light and dispel many myths.  

The impact social media has on business can be summed up in 2 words. Customer Confidence.

We heard an awful lot about this term a few months ago when the economy took its long walk off a short pier. At the end of the day, customers don’t buy products they don’t believe in and clients don’t do business with companies they don’t trust.

Engaging in conversation with the world using social media tools builds trust. Plain and simple. How you ask? We’ll cross that bridge tomorrow. Stay tuned.


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