Social Media – Get to Know The New Playground

By | June 4, 2010

Social Media appears to be one of the hottest topics of discussion and noise in the online marketing universe right now.

There are businesses being created and products arriving almost daily. So-called “gurus” are coming out of the woodwork faster than hamsters can mate. Whenever I see this kind of market behavior I step back and wonder if they all have a blind focus to the newest shiny things or there is something truly worth looking at.

Social networking is not something new per se. You could argue that it has being going on in , living rooms,lunch clubs,golf clubs,the YMCA ,coffee clatches, and beauty parlors for a long time now. The corner coffee shop in small towns or the local Chamber of Commerce or Rotary luncheon was where a lot of business networking was being done.

What has changed is that the technology has emerged and our tools of communication have changed from the simple telephone to the cell phone to the broadband world of new media ,ipads, ipods.The Web world has changed our lives and tools of communication forever. Written communication is also occuring in 140 characters more than in full page letters between people. It is also occuring verbally in podcasts and YouTube Videos.

After last years election of Barrack Obama as President of the United States, fueled by intense personalized communication and cultivation and growth of his base, social media became much more mainstream in the mind of the public.

What was once thought of as the world for early adopters and geeks, is now totally mainstream. Facebook the 500 lb gorilla in the room now has gone from being an invention of frisky geeks in their dorm rooms trying to meet girls to a tool Grandparents and families are using daily for communication instead of something that was though was just used by the “kids”. The pace of change globally is so rapid it is difficult to keep up with all the new services out there such as Twitter,Tumbler ,FourSquare ,Posterous ,Orkut ,Friendfeed and Diaspora just to name a few.

As where the people go, so go the marketers and communicators. But the lessons to be learned are the same as would be asked in traditional old media terms. Who is my market? Where do they live and play and how can I find a way to play in their playground. How can I make new friends. How can I get my friends to tell their friends why they would want to play with me.

Like in the world pre Web 2.0 you need to plan and develop a strategy to do just that, and join in on these new listening posts. Get into it, embrace it and converse with your customers rather than than just talking at them. But a strategy and tactical execution honed by listening and research will allow you to meet your market where they are.

I you are interested in learning more about how you can get into new playgrounds, using these new tools I would encourage you to read the new book by Toronto based Amber Mac called Power Friending: Demystifying Social Media To Grow Your Business or by attending an online education seminar series she will be teaching in early June called Social Media Bootcamp.

As you may know, Amber Mac is one of the leading social media experts in the online world today. That’s also the opinion of people like
Steve Chen (the founder of YouTube), Dina Kaplan (co-founder of and Kevin Rose (founder of Digg and Revision3), who each
recommend Amber as a visionary in the always-evolving fabric of the social web.

Here are a few other sage commentators on Social Media Strategy:

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