Friday, December 28, 2012

Are You Really Suited For Social Media?

Social media is the buzzword nowadays, but honestly not everyone is meant for it. Here are some thoughts that might help you discern whether it will ever be part of your comfort zone -- or not.

I. There are three basic kinds of social media:

A. Primary content - you are the author

* Words
* Photos
* Graphic design
* Video
* Audio
* Applications/games

B. Secondary content - you produce it in a secondhand way

* Commenting on content or news
* Integrating two or more pieces of the same kind of content
* Mashing up one kind of content over another
* Redoing, rethinking, remixing old content - updating it

C. Third hand content - you share

* Any of the above (A or B)
* News
* Opinion (e.g. a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to someone else's more lengthy commentary)
* Coupons, promotions, deals

II. Here's what people who consume social media want:

A. Authenticity - it has to seem real - and you cannot lie
B. Utility - it has to be useful to them in some way, cognitively, emotionally, spiritually, artistically
C. Immediate gratification - it has to be useful right away
D. Shareability - they have to be able to tell someone else
E. Mobility - increasingly, they have to be able to use it on their smartphone

III. The world of social media is different than the world of normal people:

A. Extremes are good versus in real life extreme people seem odd
B. Highly intellectual is good versus in real life people are more likable when they're not brain jockeys
C. Introverted is good versus in real life extroverts have the edge
D. Free is good whereas in real life expensive items are more valued
E. Opinionated is good whereas in real life more laid back is more tolerable

The most important thing to know about social media: It's a non-stop, 24/7/365 conversation. You are not supposed to dwell on any particular thing, or sit in a corner and talk to yourself, but rather stay in the flow.

If you can handle this world it's a blast and a half. If not, it's better not to participate. It's not a water faucet - you can't turn it on and off like ads you pay for. It's about being there for the long haul, consistently a part of the party.