If the noise level is an indicator of conversational buzz, then 2008 was certainly the year in which the conversation online moved into the mainstream of public consciousness.
This was due, in no small part, to the effective use of social media in the presidential campaign. No one captured the essential core of this technology as skillfully as Obama's team did through their use of social media to raise awareness and campaign funds. In addition, the news media integrated social media sites, bloggers and iReporters into their broadcast. Everyone was talking to anyone...
In 2008, the main event was the conversation. Twitter took off with incredible speed, breaking records for increased traffic. For many, the conversation was the end game. It didn't matter if anyone was listening or responding.
It was all about being on the move...finding the next new social media network, creating as many profiles as possible and then clicking the cursor to explore the next thing. The result of this dizzying flight of activity was near exhaustion in some quarters as many strove to keep up with blogs, comments and syndicated feeds.
One of the most curious phenomenons observed during this frenzy was the numerous people who were banned from sites like Twitter for 'strange activity'. Sometimes, a visit to the profile would indicate a huge number of individuals who had been 'friended' by the now banned member. I wonder if a new kind of social dysfunction is developing in which a compulsive need to collect 'friends' will soon garner a psychiatric label? :)
As business professionals enter into social media platforms in droves in 2009, the easiest mistake to make will be in thinking that this is just about communicating a message rather than developing Relationships. It's not that the numbers will not be important. They will be!
But what's hidden in the numbers will be even more critical. The true gold core will be the level of connectivity which is embedded within the numbers; the touch points which serve to expand the level of interaction beyond the simple one dimensional format of a profile page. Success in the future will depend on the power of influence and the ability to move followers and friends to action. This only happens when there is a relationship!
Relationships are much harder to nurture than simple conversations. Relationships are fueled by a willingness to listen and understand. They also demand humility to appreciate what others bring to the table and the ability to respond in a fashion that it engaging and interactive. Relationships can increase risk, vulnerability and emotional exposure. And most of all relationships require an investment of TIME.
And...2009 will be the year that many will discover that blogging and social media networking are not a 'get rich quick schemes' in which the numbers of followers alone garner results. Many will drop away because of the boredom that eventually results when no one is responding.
But those who persist in the painstaking work of building relationships will become immersed in an experience which will prove to be transforming. I'm already seeing it happen. In some ways, this journey from the shallow shoals of conversation to the depths of relationships may offer the best hope for revitalizing an industry which has lost its mooring of influence and is floundering to discover how to become relevant once more.
Copyright 2008 Audu Real Estate All Rights Reserved
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How to Use Twitter For Business...excellent tips!