The Importance of Social in Media and Small Business

social media managementWhat’s your definition of social media? Is it Facebook, or a bunch of channels that you use, or do you assume you’re doing social media whenever you post anything online?

You can Google the term and find a host of definitions. Our company roughly thinks of social media as anything that builds bridges between things. Twitter might be a bridge between your followers and your blog content. Facebook might provide a bridge between your leads and conversion opportunties. LinkedIn might bridge your skills with people who are seeking them.

Yet this post is about something even more broad than social media, and that is the application of Social approaches to all communications and other aspects of your business.

[Gasp. Yes, I’m talking about nothing less than complete renovation of business structure so that it is a much more tribal than hierarchical affair. It’s building organizations in ways that make much better use of everyone’s talents. It’s a natural consequence of positing faith in the idea that Small is Beautiful.]

But we’ll take things one step at a time. Let’s consider Social in media, which is to say, in communications.

“Push” marketing, outbound tactics, or what we recognize as traditional broadcast methods of getting the word out about anything does not need to consider the Social aspects of the communication because any individual response to the message will not be heard.

The “Pull” nature of inbound marketing evolves in response to the fact that the internet gives every individual a voice. One that can be heard. In such an environment, there’s little profit from preaching: a far more successful strategy is to quietly and generously share and then keep sharing.

Think of it like this: who is more compelling at a party or other social event – the loudmouth braggart or the well-spoken, serenely attractive person? Make no mistake – the web is a party.

And what about small business and Social? As the title of this post suggests, Social as a modus operadi is much bigger than just your company’s communications. It can inform all aspects of operations, from planning to revenue. A Social approach in leadership, management, systems, procedures, and evaluations can lead to epic renovations and exploded profits. When you apply Social to anything you’re doing, you increase the exchange of information, allow input from all available resources, and maximize your company’s potential.

Social is the great frontier, despite our five or six millenia of “civilization” on Earth. Right now, Social is turning marketing on its ear, but implications ripple infinitely farther into all departments. Future posts will look at specific cases of Social at work in small businesses and make suggestions about how you can develop your Social influence.

In the meantime, I’m curious: What is your definition of Social, media or otherwise? Comment please?

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