Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What does "social" mean to you?

Recently I was asked to think about a question.  What does "social" mean to you?

This gave me a pause.  I have been talking about what it means to enterprises and companies.  But I don't think I sat down to think about social media means to individual users.  Especially what it means to me.

After thinking about it for a while, here's what it means to me:

1. Platform to share my thoughts

With social media, I can create, publish and distribute my own content.  All it takes is a perspective and a story to share.  If I can write it, I can make it available to everyone who might be interested.  Now the challenge is creating content interesting enough for readers, and making the content discoverable for potential readers.  Classic marketing problem.

2. Way to directly engage with people

Social media provides a way to listen.  Readers can directly engage with me on the content that I share.  I could also track how users are discovering the content through analytics program like Google Analytics.

3. Discovering interesting people to learn from

Because publishing platform is available to everyone, there are explosion of interesting perspectives and stories from people on many different walks of life.  I'm continually amazed at how many people are writing and sharing their own stories with others.

4. Digital marketing playground

Thanks to social media, it's virtually free to learn digital marketing skills.  It costs nothing to create a new blog or social media account, and start publishing perspectives.  The challenge is getting discovered by people and building the audience who find my content useful.  This is exactly what startup goes through when perfecting product market fit and finding the first paying customer.  I can go do that experiment as long as I have time commitment to continue writing and tweaking my content.

5. Online identity 

Social media allows me to establish my own online identity.  LinkedIn Profile and creating a blog is a start.  But how much history and content to provide is up to how much effort I want to invest in creating my online identity.  This would not have been possible without social media where I can run my own PR.

What does "social" mean to you?

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