May 7, 2012 2 Comments
If you don’t recognize the reference to the ‘Shit XYZ say about ABC’, you’ve probably not been online this year. I loved the concept of this viral because it picked out those silly things that people say & think but don’t actually realize that they believe.
I’m using that reference to bring out some of the common misconceptions that brands (and the people who represent them) carry about social media. In my first article of the month for Social Samosa titled ‘Shit brands say about Social Media’, I address myths (and corresponding truths) about social media platforms, SM users, key influencers and social content.
Here’s the first:
Myth: Social Media is an advertising platform
Truth: Social Media is a collective of conversations.
An advertising medium allows single direction transmission of a message. The message does not get added to or edited along the way. It is created, directed and owned by the sender. The sender also controls the medium because they pay for it.
Social media does not allow unidirectional transmissions. Every user in the medium, is an active participant in the creation and transmission of the message. Hence a message can and will get changed, diluted, contorted and transformed as it passes on.
The smart way to be on this medium is to treat it like an open forum rather than an advertising platform. A brand cannot force a message across on social media by implanting it in content that users are consuming, the way it is done in print or television. The best bet is to get involved in conversations where the message is a natural fit.
Bottomline: Learn to converse, and not just talk.