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Social Is A Behavioral Magnet

It seems that everyone and every business is being sucked into all things social.

The draw of social is  like a magnet attracting people to discover what can be done and what is being done. However without first gaining an understanding of the dynamics most people don’t understand what is being done and what can be done with all things social.

When we look at what people and organizations are currently doing with social the prevailing use seems to be aimed at marketing something to someone. Subsequently those just entering the social arena conclude that social is a marketing tool. This represents the typical behavioral dynamic of “following a trends” without understand why, what and how a trend becomes a trend.

Following a Trend?

The word trends means a general direction in which something tends to move, to extend, incline, or veer in a specified direction. As we examine “social media trends” over time we can see a broader use of the technology beyond just marketing.

Emarketer reports: “Whether it’s to stay current, network with other professionals or share content with their peers, human resources professionals are turning to social networking sites to build the skills and expertise that will advance their careers, according to research from PJA Advertising + Marketing and community site Toolbox.com.”

“Active use of social media has become a vital part of many HR professionals’ careers, with respondents consuming an average of 3.77 hours of social media content per week for work purposes. That topped consumption of online editorial content (2.77 hours) and vendor content (2.13 hours).”

Average Time Spent per Week Using Social Networking Tools  According to HR Executives Worldwide, January 2010 (% of respondents)

“Overall, the survey found that social media made up 43% of total media consumption among HR respondents.”

“About one-half of respondents said a social media presence helped build their personal brand and made them more valuable as a job candidate.”

“HR professionals have been fast adopters of social media, not just for networking but for improving their value as professionals,” said Mike O’Toole, president at PJA Advertising + Marketing, in a statement. “They clearly identify social media channels as a way to increase their expertise and build their professional reputation.

Beyond HR & Marketing

The ecosystem of any organization is threaded together by and with communications. Social media is nothing more than communications on steroids.

While two-thirds of the HR executives worldwide cited use of professional networks to advance their careers one must wonder what and how they are communicating to advance their careers. Simply having a profile for the world to see one’s background and expertise isn’t enough to “increase their expertise and build their professional reputation”. Note that the survey indicates that HR professionals are using social media to improve their value as professionals. Again one must wonder “how”?

In order to build one’s reputation and improve one’s value there must be some kind of exchange that is considered valuable to others.

Serving the interest of others who seek information and knowledge is a value oriented service which attracts an audience. In order to become a magnet that attracts people one must provide relevant knowledge and information that creates a pull. Relevant information and knowledge is valuable when offered to an audience seeking consumption. One’s reputation and value is only improved when we “act in the interest of others”. There are millions of people on-line seeking value.

Learn how to serve their interest with your content (knowledge & information) and you will improve your reputation and value.

Whether a business or individual the only way to get value is to give value. Serving people’s interest is not new wisdom rather it is the wisdom of the ages proven time and time again. Acting in the interest of others is a philosophy that applies to all things and everything. Social media is simply a tool to exercise wisdom or foolishness. Both are magnets that create behavioral impacts. Impacts are results. Choose wisely.

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