Is Social Media An Art?

by Jay Deragon on 03/06/2009

Many people ask how using social media can add value to their business. Many individuals spend lots of time writing blogs that talk about social media. The media reports on the increased adoption of social media and businesses are now migrating towards the medium as a means to market their propositions.

There is Friendfeed, Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook and a host of other platforms and tools for social conversations and user generated content. To say the least the space is very confusing and crowded if not overwhelming for those just entering and trying to figure out what to do and how to do it. While all these conversations stir interest few focus on the critical elements required to effectively leverage the art and science of social media for specific gains.

Based on an analysis of the most popular blogs and communities we’ve identified four driving factors to their success. Success being defined by the growing attraction of the content/author, the number of consistent viewers , ratio of post to comments and the viral distribution and referencing of the blogs content throughout the social web. The four driving factors are:

  1. Attention: Businesses and individuals are using the tools of the social web to garner attention from specific consumer markets of interest to the audience and the business. Attention does not come from advertising rather relevant content and commentary by a credible audience.
  2. Attraction: To keep people’s attention a focus on design, content and utility are the elements which create stickiness which indicates attractiveness. The art of combining design, content and utility is not something available in a playbook rather much is learned by trial and error. Media, in the form of text, images, video and audio are the tools used to create attraction combined with unique content.
  3. Affinity: Content, design and community are the attributes of creating affinity to the proposition and the users of the online community. Unless the conversations related to the user’s needs or interest the attraction is lost because the users find little affinity to the conversations.
  4. Audience: Once 1, 2 & 3 are accomplished then you have an audience to provide continuous value propositions in order to reinforce 1, 2 & 3. The cycle is demanding and the art and science is ever evolving. Unless your actively involved, experimenting and engaging with the audience you cannot learn what gets their attention, creates the attraction, develops the affinity and thus creating your audience.

There is an abundance of social technology available for anyone to use. Technology is the science of distributed conversations that enables reach. The art of using the technology is the critical element that doesn’t come naturally. Developing the “art” of social media comes over time when one focuses on the basics of human interaction centric to conversations that are relevant to specific subject matters which draws people and business. A lot to learn and more to understand. One last thing. It isn’t going away, it isn’t a fad rather it is the evolution of human dynamics.

Get it? What say you?

Get the white paper: Leveraging Social Media for Business here

{ 14 comments }

John March 7, 2009 at 5:19 pm

RT @jfouts: Is Social Media An Art? http://ow.ly/GJB

Paula Eder March 6, 2009 at 12:24 pm

[email protected] Is Social Media An Art? http://ow.ly/GJB – Very interesting article on The Relationship Economy …

Paula Eder March 6, 2009 at 1:21 pm

Your 4 A’s are a very helpful, succinct summary of the art of life on the web – in this ever-evolving world. The newness can initially feel like moving to a new locale – but eventually the neighborhood begins to look and feel familiar – and relationships develop.

Your site looks fascinating – I’ll definitely be back!

Paula

Rose Carbon March 6, 2009 at 12:13 pm

RT @jfoutsIs Social Media An Art? http://ow.ly/GJB

Janet Fouts March 6, 2009 at 12:12 pm

Is Social Media An Art? http://ow.ly/GJB

JDeragon March 6, 2009 at 11:12 am

Unless your actively involved, experimenting & engaging with the audience U cannot learn what gets their attention. http://snipr.com/d8lal

Janet Lane March 6, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Hi, Jay,
Enjoyed your webinar earlier this week, and your Tweet caught my attention. Thanks for the helpful info. You’re gifted in your ability to present complex issues in clear, understandable way.
Have a great weekend! –Janet

JDeragon March 6, 2009 at 10:10 am

The cycle is demanding and the art and science is ever evolving. ….http://snipr.com/d8lal

JDeragon March 6, 2009 at 9:09 am

The art of using the technology is the critical element that doesn’t come naturally. http://short.to/1sgo

AlanRae March 6, 2009 at 8:13 am

RT @JDeragon: analysis of most popular blogs/communities identifies 4 factors driving success. http://snipr.com/d8kph – another Jay goodie

Alan See March 6, 2009 at 8:12 am

RT @JDeragon: 4 driving factors to a blog / community success. http://snipr.com/d8kph

JDeragon March 6, 2009 at 8:06 am

Based on an analysis of the most popular blogs and communities we’ve identified 4 driving factors to their success. http://snipr.com/d8kph

Christian DE NEEF March 6, 2009 at 5:08 am

It certainly is not a science. Interestingly enough, many people write about it as if it was a science… process, techniques, etc.

@cdn

Steven Burda, MBA October 24, 2008 at 10:48 am

Thank you for a great article!

-Steven Burda
http://www.linkedin.com/in/burda

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