Take this post as example. Yes, I want you to read it. Yes, I hope you enjoy it. Yes, I hope we feel the same way about things and that we have something in common. I hope that my posts make you curious and that you’ll check out my books (yup, that was a link), or consider hiring me to speak at a group or convention. Does that benefit me? Of course. I love eating three times a day and sleeping indoors! I also strive to provide real, measurable value for my readers and audiences. Social media is meant to give and take. After all, the dictionary.com definition of social media is, “websites and other online means of communication that are used by large groups of people to share information and to develop social and professional contacts.”
So, do you find that businesses are using social media to be social? Good businesses do. Businesses that recognize the value in commonality, in teaching, in sharing, in listening, in mutual growth and understanding. Trying to sell me a car with the offer of a great bargain and a stuffed animal is not any more social than reading a magazine, watching a TV ad, or living through a pop-up on my tablet. (Let’s not forget those, “Text [number] now to receive a discount coupon.” Then watch your device explode with sales pitches and offers. But it was social, right? I mean you got a coupon. You guys are friends now!”) If a business person’s only reason to use social media is to collect email addresses and tell you how smart they are, then … no.
You read because you want to learn, to be up-to-date, to be entertained, and to share. And in there is the social aspect nugget. Sharing. You can forward, comment, discuss, cut, paste, delete, and copy. The more the merrier. That’s what makes it social. And if from that, the content originator sells a book or gets to speak to a group one on one; everyone learns, everyone benefits. Do I hope people buy my books? Of course. Back to eating daily (yes, I am a fan). From a social perspective, do I mind if multiple people share a single copy of one of my books? Nope. Hopefully, they’ll create discussion and at the end of the day, that’s what it really is about. Sharing and helping one another and providing a forum to talk, discuss, and interact.
That is social media.
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