Everyone is chasing “social” as if it was the cure all and end all. Whether you’re a brand, a non-profit, a politician or a small business the lure of social media is being applied in many different ways.
Over the past several years the stories of how people are using social media has dominated the web and is now bleeding into main stream media. How? People and organizations are creating eye-opening stories about how they applied social media to accomplish an objective. Scott Brown’s win in the Massachusetts senate race is but one example and when you examine the factors that created his win social media stands out front and center.
There are inspiring lessons from the BIG and small stories of how people and organizations successfully applied social media. The irony of these stories is that most people who actually used social media to achieve and objective don’t understand “why” social media actually influenced the outcomes.
Lessons From Use
Social media is in its infancy stages and current usage is organic growth of a message propagated to the masses. A simple message from one person or organization can “catch the crowds” attention in profound ways that previously was not created by traditional media. The lessons from usage illustrate the simplistic yet profound nature of viral communications whose reach and richness has accelerated due to the internet. Some lessons to consider:
- Enable consumers and constituents to be the influence, not your ads or your marketing but rather your message that appeals to the masses.
- Innovate the message with the medium even if you don’t understand why or how. Barack Obama leveraged social media to get elected into the highest office in the nation. His party doesn’t understand “why” this worked and neither did Scott Brown. All they know is that it worked. Now both parties are jumping into the use of social media but neither understands why or how it works.
- Social media reaches outside the traditional market and taps into people who have an affinity to your message, your product/service and you individually regardless of geography or traditional demographics that have defined your market.
- Leverage social technology with relevant and relative media. Relevant and relative media is different than traditional media because it is relational rather than institutional. Social technology enables relational media to spread like wildfire because of the distributed power of reaching hearts and minds.
We live in a world of unprecedented change, increasing globalization, and the explosive influence of distributed communications fueld by this thing we call social media. Innovative uses of social media is the central driving force for any business, any cause or any nation that wants to grow organically and succeed in the new economy. This is a game-changing dynamic which will evolve rapidly as will the influence and impact on everything.
The game has just begun. There are no spoken rules rather the rules are hidden in the fiber of human relations and only spoken to the hearts and minds of those participating in the game of change. A game changes when people learn “why” people play the game and not necessarily “how” they play the game today. The rules of the game change when we learn why which then changes how we use something as simple yet profound as the ability to “connect” to and with the human network like never before in the history of mankind. The crowds learning why are the game changers.