Why Social Media Matters to EVERYTHING

originally posted on Concept Hub

I have completed many of the most urgent projects that were on my to-do list leaving this last week of May to get to some of the things that are continuously getting pushed down to last priority. This would be a good way to wind down as I prepare for a much-needed vacation in the first week of June.

However, I think my brain received some sort of mixed message because when I sat down to write my weekly blog post I realized I had nothing. My brain has already gone on vacation.

So, I logged into my bloglines and began seeking inspiration.

I found it on Jeff Hilimire’s blog; 3 more questions marketers should ask about social marketing

His blog refers to “The Five Questions Companies Ask About Social Media“.  The questions, according to Jeremiah, are:

  1. What is Social Media?
  2. Why does it matter?
  3. What does it mean to my business?
  4. How do I do it right?
  5. How do I integrate across the Enterprise?

My answers to these questions are:
1. Social Media is what the Internet was always meant to be – media that is interactive – a place for multi-directional communication that is available to everyone.

2. Social Media matters because it gives everyone a voice. It matters the same way the printing press mattered. Social Media has disrupted every business model that exists today and is challenging every assumption we have held about what we are capable of.

3. As a person concerned about the bottom line of your business if you are not building and working a social media strategy then you are not tapped into what is happening around you, where your threats and opportunities exist and how you could serve your clients/customers even better. Basically, you are doomed to be outdone by the millions of competitors that are able to come into your space with few barriers to entry and quicker response times to your clients/customers needs.

4. To “do it right”…don’t make social media about you – make it about your community -Listen. Make it about your team – Collaborate. Make it about new ideas that just might work – Take Risks!.

5. To integrate social media across the enterprise start where the seeds are already starting to sprout. Find out who in your organization has the passion and knowledge to lead the efforts and to help others get involved. Know where your best market opportunities lie for success and make sure you have a way to measure success.

Jeff mentioned that he prefers social marketing to social media. I understand his perspective, but I will stick with social media. Marketing is one discipline of the online space, customer service is another, research, collaboration, commerce, training, are a few others. All aspects of a business are happening online either on the open web or behind company firewalls and social media is having a huge impact on all aspects of business thus drastically changing how business gets done.

Which leads to Jeff’s three additional questions:
1. Why are you considering social media? Many people hear that social media is some sort of magic elixir. It’s not. It takes a strategy, it takes buy-in from many different departments agreeing on the strategy and agreeing to work together, it takes a measurable goal and it takes an open mind. If your company jumped on Twitter because 140 characters is easily digestible and will help you get more noise on the web about your company, you just might be missing out on some greater, more impactful opportunities.

2. Is your house in order? I love this question! Jeff points to the importance of making sure your other communication efforts are in order before adding social media to the mix. I would add that social media should be seen as an evolution of your communication strategy, not an add-on and therefore you need to look at your current efforts to evaluate what can be dropped and what can be optimized for social media.

Jeff’s final question is “Are you ready for this?” Most people/companies will admit they are not. They have not been getting ready for this and they are not sure where to start to get ready for this, and well, they have other things on their to-do list and social media is somewhere on it.

Well ready or not, social media is here, and I can guarantee you it is already having an impact on EVERY aspect of your business.