Being vs. Using Social: Acumen

by Jay Deragon on 01/27/2010

An important element of individual and organizational ability to build productive market relations is the possession of social acumen. Acumen implies a keen understanding of a subject matter or knowledge set required to accomplish a goal.

The new dynamics of the social web is accelerating organizational and individual needs to gain social acumen. Social acumen reflects a keen understanding of the dynamics caused by interactive communications and relational connectivity fueled by social technologies and the subsequent impact on business as unusual.

Most organizations are using social technology today without consideration of “being social”. Subsequently their acumen reflects a lack of understanding of “social dynamics”  or the knowledge set required to use social technology to accomplish a specific goal.

Go to 99% of the websites used by brands and organizations. What will you find? A clear intent on selling us something and making the process very difficult. Follow a sample of businesses and individuals on Twitter. What will you find? A clear intention to push out their message instead of listening to what the buyers are discussing and engaging with an intent to serve buyer needs.

Caring about buyers ought to be foremost in every business owners mind.  Being social means you care about serving people’s intent. Using social does not require you to care rather using it for the wrong purpose demonstrates your lack of social acumen.  Without demonstrating social acumen all you are doing is demonstrating your organizations inability to hear the buyers intent and your lack of being able to fulfill those intents. In this case you are only hurting the results you are chasing rather than enhancing the potential for results in the long term.

What Is Required?

The requirements for using social are simple. The requirements for being social are complex. Sometimes doing the simple things can create complex problems if you do not have the ability to understand the difference between using and being social. Doing simply things doesn’t require much thinking. Managing complex things requires lots of thinking, skills and a different kind of knowledge.

Starting and driving my car is fairly simple. Working on what makes my car run is complex and I do not have the knowledge or skills to do so. Social media is no different. Anyone can use social but few understand the real power lies with being social. Being social requires acumen of what, when, where, how and why people want to engage with you or your organization.  Get it?

{ 12 comments }

Online Affairs February 18, 2010 at 12:53 am

Being vs. Using Social: Acumen #socialmedia http://ow.ly/18ynp

Dana Clark January 28, 2010 at 8:20 am

Being vs. Using Social: Acumen http://bit.ly/aHAXLL

Kenny Silva January 27, 2010 at 7:04 pm

I see business after business use social media without “being social” as you put it. It’s an immediate turn off. I feel as though it comes from business owners who feel like they are behind the curve when it comes to social media and are trying to catch up. They use it to push out their marketing message, viewing it as a free medium for advertising. Unfortunately for them, social media “power users” instantly vilify and ignore this type of behavior. Also, customers just don’t listen. SoMe is all about conversation. You’ve got to listen as much or more than you talk, people!!
.-= Kenny Silva´s last blog ..Who Are You and Why Are You Here? =-.

Catherine Warren January 27, 2010 at 12:43 pm

I wish that more people understood this point about using social media. Great article!

Catherine Warren January 27, 2010 at 12:40 pm

I wish more people understood this point about using social media. Great article!

JDeragon January 27, 2010 at 11:43 am

Follow a sample of businesses and individuals on Twitter. What will you find?http://bit.ly/cDKyaF

Michael Zeuthen January 27, 2010 at 11:41 am

Being vs. Using Social: Acumen http://bit.ly/aHAXLL Anyone can use social but few understand the real power lies with being social. Being ..

Dale Lawrence January 27, 2010 at 11:19 am

Being vs. Using Social: Acumen http://bit.ly/aHAXLL

JDeragon January 27, 2010 at 10:43 am

Go to 99% of the websites used by brands and organizations. What will you find?http://is.gd/78Pfz

Jolt Social Media January 27, 2010 at 10:21 am

Being vs. Using Social: Acumen http://bit.ly/b5gCaZ #socialmedia

JDeragon January 27, 2010 at 9:43 am

Most organizations are using social technology today without consideration of "being social".http://bit.ly/cDKyaF

JDeragon January 27, 2010 at 8:43 am

The new dynamics of the social web is accelerating organizational and individual needs to gain social acumen. http://bit.ly/cDKyaF

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