How to Succeed in Social Media
Put down your iPhone, close your Facebook profile and stop Twittering for just a second. I have something to say to you, head to head and heart to heart.
Technology is cool. It can be an incredibly effective way to promote your cause. But hard wires don’t necessarily create human bonds. Your social-media strategy can’t simply be a tool set — it needs to be a conduit to living beings. “Java” doesn’t inspire people unless you’re talking about the kind you get from Starbucks. Technology doesn’t compel people — people do.
I’m taking this precious space to make this point because I think it falls under the forgotten fundamentals category that’s the focus of this column. It’s all too easy to fall in love with all the sexy social-media tools out there and forget why people are attracted to social media in the first place. If you don’t stay grounded in the basic human needs that fuel the success of those shiny tools, you will be — in the words of Nicole Engelbert, lead analyst of vertical markets technology at Datamonitor — a fool with a tool.
There are a lot of lengthy and overwhelming definitions of social media, social networking and Web 2.0 out there — pick your jargon. I won’t quote them here. Let me give you my definition.
All that social-media stuff is simply people using the Internet to:
1. Be seen and heard.
2. Connect with each other.
That’s it. And that’s as basic and human as you can get. Social media is about the social, not the media.
Bloggers and vloggers want a platform for personal expression, and they like connecting with people who care about their content. (In case you’ve been living off the grid for the last few years, blogs are personal, online journals/columns. Vlogs are video blogs.) Everyone can be a pundit in the world of social media. Even I have a blog.