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Monday, January 10, 2011

THE FOUNDERS DEN: The Spawning of Social Media

There is a term some use that may not be so accurate. Many people use the term social media to describe using the internet for business. This term is used wrong quite often and should be clarified. There are social networking sites and there are social media outlets. New Media or Modern Media is the complete optimization of the web and all its outlets for the betterment of your business. Blogging, micro-blogging, Tweeting, Facebook-ing, bookmarking, uploading, friending, following and Myspace-ing have become verbs in the English language, for all intensive purposes. Social Networking should be somewhere around 30-35% of your new, or modern media campaign. These things all work hand in hand these days, so we need to make the terms clear. Let’s break down the terms by definition:

Media - The means of communication that reach large numbers of people

Social - Seeking or enjoying the companionship of others.

Modern- Contemporary or up-to-date.

So, if social media is seeking the companionship of others through the means of communications that reach large numbers or people, then modern media is the contemporary or up to date means of reaching large numbers of people. Again part of a modern media campaign has to have social networking as a portion of the plan as a whole.

In this scope of definition we would now be able to say that social media would mean seeking friendship and modern media would mean reaching the masses in the most up to date fashion. Is this correct?

Good, now we are on the same page. Either phrase you use is designed to relay the want to communicate. Communication, by definition means the exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, signals, writing, or behavior. So, if I wanted to exchange thoughts and needs as a person I would want to do so socially to befriend people. Along the same lines, if I wanted to communicate for business I would want to do so in the most up to date contemporary fashion possible,if I were thinking properly.

Though, as a business you want to make friends along the way, the goal is to make money and provide jobs. With this in mind I think that the old forms of “putting food on the table” are done in the following ways, traditionally. You either hunt or farm, with the final goal of harvesting food. Let’s break those terms down in definition form:

Farm- To cultivate.

Harvest- The result or consequence of an activity.

Hunt- The constant pursuit of something.

Now being that this is 2010 and we all have to be able to do many things at the same time I would think of growing my business in such a way:

I have clients now, this is a great thing. I have to farm or cultivate them into raving fans to get referrals and make more money. As I am doing this, because it takes a long time to do, I have to be hunting for new clients. This means I have to be in a constant pursuit of them with the goal of attaining new accounts or assets. Either way you look at this it can be done on the internet, right? So, if I am a social media person I want to meet, pre-sort and find a new companion or friend with the final goal in mind of taking the relationship from the internet to real life. If I am a business, or modern media user, I would want to set appointments or make deals, either way it involves taking the connections online and bringing them into real life.

Now in order for me to begin doing any of this I have to create a profile and set my image. My image is the one thing I control alone. I can make myself look anyway I want to, but in the end everyone will find out if I do everything correctly and make the internet a real place. Make sense? So now we need to look at the difference between identity and brand, because these are the words most used in “social media”. By definition:

Identity– The collective aspect of the set of characteristics by which a thing is definitively recognizable or known.

Brand– a particular product or a characteristic that serves to identify a particular product.

So, this would tell me that my identity is determined by others and my brand is a small piece of the overall picture. In other words, I can brand anything that exists in my identity. But, if I think I am the color blue and everyone else thinks I am the color red, I am going to waste a ton of time branding my red pencils that I sell instead of branding the blue ones. See? More basic explanation, The things that come into mind for me on these words are the following:

Identity, public identity, or what others identify me with and vice versa.

Brand, in the old days was a burned logo on the ass of a cow to let others know it was mine.

So we have to first measure where we are in our identity stages and see what the perception of my company is currently. Then we have to define how we want to be viewed in order to create a brand. This means we need to constantly gather data to make the best choices on the way we are seen. Date is defined as:

Data– Factual information, especially information organized for analysis or used to reason or make decisions.

Well, we want the information from the people that are saying things about us and creating our identity and helping or hurting our brand name so we need to make relationships with them to get info. Relationship is defined as:

Relationship– the state of being connected.

So we now know that Modern Media is the most up to date ways of reaching the masses to communicate (exchange thoughts) and build a relationship (be connected) with my current and prospective clients in order to harvest the rewards of my hunting and farming activities (actions to produce a result) that are in coordination with my brand (products and characteristics) which will enhance my identity (perception of me). In other words, using “social media” to build a business is stupid. Using Modern Media properly is the best way to build a brand, identity, product line, relationships, gather data on my crops and grow revenue.

Lets not forget that little word called class, defined as:

Class- High quality, integrity, status, or style

Executing your social or modern media campaign needs to be done with class. This is a must. The world of social and modern media is not a forgiving one when you break the rules of etiquette. Some of the websites will just simply ban you for life from their communities if you mess up, so it is very important to stay current with your site guidelines.

But in the end, you must just simply execute your plan and follow the rules; this is a growing market and needs to be tapped, by every business. Execution is defined as the following two things:

1.To put into effect; carry out, to perform or carry out what is required

2.To put to death

Which one describes what you are doing with your campaign? Are you using it and making headway daily or are you not using it, or using it wrong, and putting it to death?

By Eric Rice

LWI and The Founders Den

The Founders Den

The Founders Den is a collaborative group of successful entrepreneurs, attorneys, investors, tax professionals, and advisors who are committed to sharing their knowledge, expertise, and resources to improve the environment for rising startup businesses. The Founders Den Members come from a variety of professional backgrounds and business sectors, and are focused on leveraging their wisdom and experience to offer advice to young companies, and in select cases the Den serves as an incubator for promising ventures who are in need of support to turn their plans into reality.

Eric Rice is a successful entrepreneur and has built a number of businesses in sectors ranging from financial services to gaming. He is currently the CEO of LWI, a non-traditional marketing firm specializing in social media and online branding.

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The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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