Social Media May be Trendy, but Socializing isn’t

Social Media May be Trendy, but Socializing isn't

I first logged on to the internet in 1995 via a BBS AKA Bulletin Board System. I’d been logging onto BBS networks for a couple of years prior. A BBS could be a hobby running on a single home PC or, if you could afford the extra phone lines, a small business venture. The host computers were linked to many others around the globe via the BBS software they ran and phone lines. There were three primary reasons to log into a BBS: file sharing, gaming and communication.

Sound familiar? Even now these are three of the primary reasons why people go online – at the heart of all these activities is the need for us to commune and share.

When browsers and ISPs made connecting and using the web more accessible for the majority of people, a lot of folks leapt online and spent hours and hours just being online. It was a new frontier and exploring it was addictive for many.

I noticed a learning curve that most newcomers to the web experienced. Initially they would spend a lot of time online and then over the course of months, that curve would slowly flatten out. For example, instead of being online virtual skiing, they would start to use the web to get ski reports and hit the hills for real.

In other words, the web went from being regarded as an experience to being thought of as an appliance. A very handy appliance which most people now use to add value to their everyday lives – this curve applies to what we term social media too.

The meteoric rise of social media has some wondering when the bubble will burst. That’s a fair question and it’s likely that at some point in the not too distant future that bubble will indeed burst or perhaps simply settle onto the grass and quietly pop. There will be a shake-out soon enough in the social marketing guru industry and social media networks too may come and go, but that won’t stop people from being social.

Networks such as Facebook didn’t create the need for humans to form communities and the internet didn’t manufacture that drive out of thin air either. This is something which is bred in the bone among us. The web and social media are simply tools which allow us to feed that desire to connect and commune.

Assuming social media is a passing fad is dangerous because it was never new and trendy to begin with. The only things which may be new and trendy about social media (aside from the label) are the networks, services and companies trying to leverage it.

We label something primarily because that is the first step in controlling it. It’s good to keep in mind that while services such as Twitter and Facebook may accommodate the human need to socialize, they do not impel us to do so. We don’t need Facebook or Twitter to instill a yearning in us to connect and share with others.

The desire to label and then cram something new into a nice frame of reference “cubby hole” is a dangerous thing when what we are really talking about is a genie escaping out of the bottle. Now, that genie may have taken a good while to wriggle out, but it has and corporations would do well not to ignore it. Never before have we been so empowered to share and interact. Companies should recognize this, respect it and nurture it.

If social media has accomplished anything, I would hope that would be to bring home the message that companies have to start thinking socially. They must knock down silos, end internal territorial attitudes, enhance knowledge networking and increase accessibility for customers via multiple channels.

The quickest way to be accepted and appreciated in any community is to contribute to it. However you want to label social media, a primary focus for brands should be to enrich communities with relevant information which adds real value to people’s every day lives. To do that effectively, you have to listen to, interact and participate with the communities you want to reach.

Get started with content marketing

Check out the online content marketing guide by Content Marketing Experience.

 

Get started with content marketing - start
  • http://twitter.com/avinio/status/75460681809403904 Avi Joseph

    Social Media May be Trendy, but Socializing isn’t http://bit.ly/mkC8zI

  • http://twitter.com/socialmedia_jpn/status/75461190096134144 Social Media Lab

    Social Media May be Trendy, but Socializing isn't – Social Marketing Forum: http://bit.ly/mqieMD #socialnetworking

  • http://twitter.com/b2bmarketingz/status/75494278926843904 Tony Karrer

    Social Media May be Trendy, but Socializing isn’t http://bit.ly/lKXXBa

  • http://twitter.com/smarketingforum/status/75504354311929856 SocialMarketingForum

    Social Media May be Trendy, but Socializing isn't http://ow.ly/56rTm

  • http://twitter.com/socialmedia247/status/75504594200965120 socialmedia247

    Social Media May be Trendy, but Socializing isn't http://ow.ly/56rTm: Social Media May be Trendy, b… http://bit.ly/k2T5JD #socialmedia

  • http://twitter.com/smdaybe/status/75511848593666048 smdaybe

    Social Media May be Trendy, but Socializing isn't http://ow.ly/56rU8

  • http://twitter.com/smdaybe/status/75511848593666048 smdaybe

    Social Media May be Trendy, but Socializing isn't http://ow.ly/56rU8

  • http://twitter.com/urbankreative/status/75515950987878401 Thomas Van Orshaegen

    Social Media May be Trendy, but Socializing isn't http://ow.ly/56rU8

  • http://twitter.com/urbankreative/status/75515950987878401 Thomas Van Orshaegen

    Social Media May be Trendy, but Socializing isn't http://ow.ly/56rU8

  • http://twitter.com/lifesoftware/status/75524195601231872 Didi junaedi achmad

    Social Media May be Trendy, but Socializing isn’t http://bit.ly/j0TldI (RT @brasonja) #socialmedia

  • http://twitter.com/lifesoftware/status/75524195601231872 Didi junaedi achmad

    Social Media May be Trendy, but Socializing isn’t http://bit.ly/j0TldI (RT @brasonja) #socialmedia

  • http://twitter.com/socialemail/status/75627637715894273 Social Email

    Social Media May be Trendy, but Socializing isn't http://ow.ly/56rUD

  • http://twitter.com/hugeheadca/status/75628999409283072 Jim Ducharme

    Social Media May be Trendy, but Socializing isn't http://ow.ly/56rUD

  • http://twitter.com/bobkobit/status/75629497113784320 Bob Wagner

    RT @socialemail: Social Media May be Trendy, but Socializing isn't http://ow.ly/56rUD

  • http://twitter.com/betowagner/status/75629525291110400 Beto Wagner

    RT @socialemail: Social Media May be Trendy, but Socializing isn't http://ow.ly/56rUD

  • http://twitter.com/inboxgroup/status/75637856198070272 Inbox Group

    RT @hugeheadca: Social Media May be Trendy, but Socializing isn’t http://bit.ly/jQNDCp

  • http://twitter.com/gorakgo/status/75647345659879424 Rakesh Makwana

    Social Media May be Trendy, but Socializing isn't http://ow.ly/56rUD

  • http://twitter.com/smcbrussels/status/75672963747282945 SMCBrussels

    Social Media May be Trendy, but Socializing isn't http://ow.ly/56rVx

  • http://twitter.com/2cre8/status/75713379871895552 Kathy Meyer

    #SocialMedia May be Trendy, but Socializing isn’t http://ow.ly/56tR5 RT @brasonja @_Fleur__

  • http://twitter.com/sashaohare/status/88178078601314306 Sasha O’Hare

    Currently reading http://t.co/0J5KIGY

  • http://www.lightcraftmfg.com/products/track_lighting/track_lights.html Tim Johnson

    I loved this post. It’s similar to the concept that we have amazing technology to connect humans in ways its never been done before, yet we socialize much less.

  • http://twitter.com/sinhahumayun/status/204721284393861120 Sinha Ibna Humayun

    Social Media May be Trendy, but Socializing isn’t http://t.co/Xh3eS95O ^#SIH