Some people have told me it's difficult to understand what all the fuss is about with social media. The common theme seems to be "what's so different?" So I made up this little acronym to help explain:
Sharing: Social media is all about sharing contributions and getting feedback, while also being available for consumption by anyone who is interested. Most importantly, it transforms the relationship between media and audience by removing distinctions. Trad media is typically one-way.
Openness: Provided people follow the community rules, anyone can both create and consume content. And pass judgment on other content. The keys to acceptance are transparency and fairness. Trad media has strict rules about who can and can't participate, and what constitutes authority.
Conversation: Just like offline communities of interest, social media involve real conversations between real people. Think “audience” instead of “target”. Trad media is more one-way where a brand “broadcasts” to a target group- think "soap box".
Interest-Driven: Instead of a single brand message, social media encourages communities to aggregate quickly around common areas of interest. Think about “what's in it for you” rather than “what's in it for me”. Trad media assumes aggregation around the media itself.
Advocacy: Social media provide the opportunity for people to get passionate about ideas and brands. This advocacy provides a genuine human voice that stands in contrast to one-way corporate advertising. People prefer opinion to propaganda. Trad media only permits "canned" advocacy, and never negative advocacy.
Linked: While the Internet is focused on hyperlinks between content, social media concentrates on links between people. The value of a contribution is based on how many people can share and co-create - how broad it becomes. In trad media, the value of a contribution is its impact on a target audience - how narrow it can be.
Hopefully this little acronym can help you respond to people who maybe don't recognize the power of conversations. Or maybe, help them understand what's important outside in the real world 5:00 pm to 9:00 am.
Thought for the Day: Human relationships imply social interactions. Real relationships require give and take. Maybe you're better off engaging people in a conversation, than forcing things down their necks.