January 24, 2012
The Social Media Mind Needed for Online Success
Social media is more than just a presence in social media networks and it’s more than just a continuation of some of our traditional ‘broadcast’ media forms of communication. It has become the secret sauce that’s humbled global corporations, brought down oppressive governments, is unlocking secrets science has tried to unlock for almost half a century and it continues to change our world with every passing day.
In 2011 there were so many companies lining up to fail that producing my video Top Ten Social Media Failures of 2011 became more a struggle of what I should leave out rather than finding material to put in. Since then we have seen the epic failure of brands like Blackberry with the suspicion that much of their social media failure is symptomatic, indicating deeper and graver failures which remain disguised by corporate processes until they are too late to fix.
Social media is a game changer because it is a fully disruptive technology and, as such, requires an entirely new way of thinking. This is exactly the problem for many companies. It is not hard to understand that even those which are willing to embrace social media, find it difficult to do so because:
- Business is still going on, there are initiatives, drives and developments which have been some time coming, are active and they are the result of pre-social media thinking, which is clearly understood and can be guided.
- Existing company structures do not allow for the easy insertion of social media practices beyond what can easily be accommodated in the current company structure.
- The person responsible for greenlighting the adoption of social media practices does not ‘get it’.
These are stumbling blocks which create problems, certainly, but here’s the thing. Social Media is not going to go away simply because it does not ‘fit in’ with a company’s speed of change of its internal new media marketing adoption processes. As report after report after report shows it will continue to expand, grow and require more, not fewer, companies to have it in their business communication model as standard.
Those which do not get involved for fear of getting it wrong are no more immune to social media disasters than those which do (and they will suffer from their inability to respond properly when they have to). As the Davos summit leaders, currently trying to work out what should be done to help resolve the world’s global crisis, point out, this is the “age of damage”, where “social media create a world of radical transparency”. An age where what is needed to address it is the ability to develop a true social media mind.
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