Content Discovery Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. KloutContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the Platform7 Website Tips to Attract More Shoppers to Your PagesHow eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
Everything is Social so "Social Media" is Irrelevant
Posted on December 24th 2012
In the beginning, social media was like talk radio; it was a niche place where the socially estranged hung out.
Now, social media has become the way society holds public discourse. “Social” is everything we do.
So using the phrase “social media” is holding us back from proper understanding of its cultural importance. It is holding organisations back from embracing its manifestations.
This month I came across this headline: “social media criticises new law.” The story referred to condemnation from members of the public about some regulatory changes. The range of posts quoted showed it wasn’t a technology or a certain type of people who were complaining about the law; it was the general public. Framing the criticisms as occurring on “social media” condemned them as occurring “over there” – in a niche part of the community. They clearly weren’t – it was simply ordinary people expressing their opposition.
I had an epiphany: social media has matured to the point where it is no longer something unique and special. It is ubiquitous. Its various channels are the way societies now conduct public conversations. It is how we express ourselves. It is how we nut out what we like and don’t like, what we agree and don’t agree, what we’ll tolerate and won’t.
Social media has taken over as the “public forum.”
This is a critical paradigm shift for those working with social media, and for organisations using it.
For those working in social media, their speciality has just got less unique, and less mysterious. Thank goodness for that. Now we can appreciate that we’re dealing with most human expression, and most transactions of ideas and products. What that means is that there should be no “social media” department. Few will specialise in “social media”. There will be no “social media” business or entrepreneurs. Everyone will need skills in digital / online communication as part of their jobs.
For organisations, social media just got easier and less frightening. If everyone is doing public discourse and interaction online, then it simply how we do our sales, R&D, PR, marketing, production. “Social media” will be second nature to all disciplines. The aim of an organisation still the same as always; to adapt to cultural developments, and adopt new technical skills.
When clients ask us to help them adopt social media, we do not set up a social media unit or dedicated specialist. We integrate use of the tools and concepts across their organisation. In our view, the aegis of social media is public relations. Only this discipline understands the full organisational transaction and reputation with the public. And every other discipline of an organisation is helped to use social media freely in its daily work.
Calling this phenomenon “social media” is technically accurate; it’s multimedia we use to be social. But continued use of the phrase risks ghettoization of the concept. The sooner we get this phenomenon out of the hands of “social media” experts the better. My observation is that most social media enthusiasts are driven by what it can do to change people and society, rather than how human nature is changing social media.
The longer we refer to “social media” as if it’s unique, the longer we hold back spread and evolution of its advantages.