Thursday, April 15, 2010

Why Should I Use Social Media?

We are barraged by experts telling us we must use social media to market our products or ourselves. Far too often the focus is on which social media tools are available rather than how they can help us meet our goals.

Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies by Charlene Li & Josh Bernoff is well worth reading as it focuses on how the different social media tools can be used.

Create: My blog satisfies a desire for self expression.

Listen: If you’re an information junkie like me, you thrive on finding new sources of information and ideas online.

React: Many of us rely on TripAdvisor and Amazon for their hotel or book reviews.

Connect: Socially-minded people flock to Facebook because it provides an alternate way to chat with friends and family.

Organize: Google Reader, Delicious and Picasa are invaluable. They help me organize my online files and make it easy for me to share pertinent information with other people.

Collaborate: I firmly believe online management tools can increase productivity. SurveyMonkey and Picatic have already proven their worth. Wikis and project management programs have tremendous potential.

Social media is always surprising because it’s viral. You can’t force people to view your content. You have to create something that will be so compelling that the viewers themselves will take on the task of telling other people about your product.

YouTube is popular; Google Reader isn’t. (Why? I love it.)

I would never willingly watch an ad for Volkswagen, but I love watching The Fun Theory, a series of YouTube videos sponsored by Volkswagen demonstrating that fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour.

And it’s easy to see why the ASPCA has 316,349 fans on Facebook because they are using social media to provide useful information – recognizing the symptoms of heartworm or registering for pet therapy classes or posting videos of adoptable animals on YouTube.

What’s next? Even though it’s hard work staying on top of new advances, I can’t wait to find out.

Image: courtesy of


Lisa Valentine said...

I would just like to share this with your readers in case any of their companies/employers are threatening to block access to social media as a solution to the "problem."

There's a good whitepaper on the subject, it's called “To Block or Not. Is that the question?”

It has lots of insightful and useful information about identifying and controlling Enterprise 2.0 apps (Facebook, Twitter, Skype, SharePoint, etc.)

Could be worth sharing this with the IT dept.

Jen said...

Great post! And I love the new look!