What the Heck is Social Media?

Here is a great presentation by Social Media Evangelist Marta Kagan that I found on Slideshare this weekend.  It is one of the more popular presentations on Social Media and has been viewed by more than 50,000 people since is was posted 1 month ago.  Maybe it has something to do with the title, but I found it very interesting including the initial slide with these two definitions of Social Media:

Social media is an umbrella term that defines the various activities that integrate technology, social interaction and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio

Social media is people having conversations online.

The 5 reasons for being involved with social media include:

  1. Social media sites are officially more popular than porn
  2. 78% of people trust the recommendations of other consumers
  3. People are talking about your brand – RIGHT NOW
  4. Social media is only going to become more pervasive
  5. Tomorrow’s consumers are today’s “digital natives”

At the end, Marta provided this simple advice:

  • Listen
  • Participate
  • Relinquish control
  • Engage

Listening and participating is usually pretty easy for most companies – you just have to have someone devote time to the get involved.  In my experience, relinquishing control is one of the hardest pieces of advice to follow – especially for senior and executive management.  They are used to being in control and whether they like it or not, the consumer is in control in social media situations.  Finally, sustained engagement is also hard as it takes a commitment to getting and staying involved.  The paybacks for social media initiatives are sometimes not immediately obvious or cannot be looked at in the same way as other investments.  But as the presentation says, “the train is leaving the station, with or without you”.


2 thoughts on “What the Heck is Social Media?

  1. Tom,
    Thanks for including the presentation in your post & for summarizing the key messages so nicely. One additional thought to add: we’re definitely still at the ‘infancy’ stage of social media marketing… which I think is good news, b/c it means that the best is yet to come. Stay tuned! 😉

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