What’s referred to as ‘social media’ is simply a manifestation of our inherently social nature enhanced by a level of technological prowess that we’ve become BORED with. We’re not talking about the latest and greatest thing in technology, we’re talking about things that have become so ubiquitous that they’ve become commonplace, and that’s when things become socially interesting – when I can talk about it with anyone, that’s when media becomes valuable. Social Media is a solidarity good – the more people use it, the more valuable it becomes.
As far as I’m concerned, social media is a really broad category. It is technology that empowers non-technical people to communicate. The lines are very blurry, and it could arguably go back to the telephone or the printing press – perhaps we simply don’t recognize that association because no one was ever successful at pushing advertising into people’s phone conversations?
So, it’s not one thing – it’s lots and lots of things. But realistically, social media today relies mostly on that transparent and boring old technology known as the internet, and a class of that known sometimes as User-Generated Content.
Now, this user generated content is nothing new, it’s merely gained momentum by measurably affecting interruption advertising and push messaging. Some companies are embracing a social approach simply because it’s the new IN thing, but the savvy companies embrace it because of the metrics they can extract.
I’m very intrigued with the marketing application, and the way this technology is impacting traditional, but I’m surprised by the seemingly widespread confusion associated with engagement. This is the stuff we learned in kindergarten – you be nice, people will play with you. When you’re a jerk or a showoff, they split.