Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Social Media - Creative Democracy

Last night at Chapman University I heard Chris Brogan, a self-described community and social media "rock star" speak about the power of social media and how it can be harnessed for our businesses. His views on what social networking is, or maybe should be, are quite interesting. Some might even accuse him of being an ideologue, but I think there's merit in his claims.

Take the idea that social media is a long lost method to enforce democracy. He believes that whether using twitter, blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, or other social media, we can better have our voices heard, and responded to. He had many examples of this, no doubt drawn from his new book. His argument seems compelling when you consider that the likes of Facebook and twitter have become one of the few places where we can post our rants and feel free to express our thoughts.

In fact, companies worldwide are discovering how to listen to the chatter on sites like twitter to determine what customer concerns to address, what people may be looking for in the way of products and services, or when to avoid selling to a person or demographic. So, social media is serving everyone with their own platform, the proverbial soap box, to have their voices heard.

What better way to hear what your neighbors, friends, coworkers, or employees really think than to allow access to these media and listen. The idea here is to hear and connect with people, individuals, so that you can address their specific needs and concerns. There's a hidden message here: social media is all about listening...not announcing. I'll address that in tomorrow's blog.

For now, let the idea sink in that, once again, we each have a voice and an avenue to listen and be heard worldwide.