Today, I am pleased to introduce the newest member of our blogging team here at poloDesign, Eric Davidson. Eric is our social media specialist, helping businesses develop creative strategies for using the latest social technologies for business growth.
Despite the rapid growth and adoption of social media, there is still a large segment of the general population scratching their heads and wondering if it’s not all just some sort of elaborate fad. Well, it may at times seem elaborate, but social media is no fad. Let me go further and say that I believe social media is here to stay. As a matter fact, I don’t even think it’s really all that new.
Think about it. In pre-computing days, information was accessed through other media such as newspapers, magazines, radio and television. Ah, yes, you say, but that was all “push” technology. Information was broadcast but there wasn’t any form of two-way interaction. What? You’ve never listened to, or participated in a call-in show on the radio? You’ve never sent photos or seen those sent by others to the local TV stations or newspapers? What about birth, graduation, wedding, and anniversary, announcements? Have people not been able to share these, with a photo no less? Have you never written or read a letter to the editor to express an opinion? How about an advice column such as Dear Abby or Ann Landers? People not only read and write in with their questions but often many others feel compelled to respond with advice of their own or thanks for advice that they too may have acted on.
And what about contests? So often, when discussing ways in which businesses can use social media tools, bloggers cite contests as being perfectly suited for social media promotions. And they are, just as they have been when promoted through newspapers, magazines, radio and TV.
People, by their very nature, are social creatures. We have always looked for, and found, means of connecting with others and sharing the things that are important to us. My point isn’t to disparage social media for not offering anything new. Instead, I want to encourage you to think of social media as a means for taking the already familiar things you might share in your life to powerful new levels of expression.
Social media is more portable, accessible, collaborative, and immediate than traditional media. That is its chief value, and those who embrace it will leverage its power in thrilling new ways. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Flickr, Deviant Art, MySpace (yes they’re still around!) and all the other social media sites offer an interesting and inspiring mix of methods to make the medium YOUR message. Use them if you choose to, but dismiss them at your own risk. After all, people are social creatures, and word gets around.
Interested in finding out more about social media for business? poloDesign is holding an information seminar Inviting Conversation: Social Media & Your Business on Wednesday, June 23 to help you get started. To register or find out more please check out our registration page.