CHAPTER 3 The social reality: beyond the surface of social media

Social media is only a small part of the change we’re living through; it’s a surface indicator or a symptom of the times. The fact that all of it has been enabled by an omnipresent and ultra-cheap space race in technology tells us much more about why it matters. The wormhole goes deep, and social media is just the entry point to the hole that we’ve recently entered. We’d do well to think of social media as the introductory 101 course for something much more significant.

A focus on social-media strategy is flawed by definition. It’s too focused on the tool and not enough on the reason. The obsession that people, brands and companies have with followers, fans and friend accumulation won’t be the panacea to any marketing problem. The clues are even in the words we use to describe it. It’s a simple social conversation that’s digitally enhanced. Having a social-media strategy is akin to asking people whether they have a conversation strategy when they talk to people. While it may be overtly planned at some kind of networking event, it’s far from the way most people behave on a day-to-day basis. What we’re actually looking for is human interaction that makes us feel good, solves our problems and speaks with a human voice, rather than that of a corporate PR department or a telecentre. What we want to have are the interactions we never could pre-web. What we don’t want to hear is the voice that’s owned by those with the ...

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