I came across a blog post titled “The new ROI of social: Risk of Irrelevancy” a few days ago and it got me thinking. The post focuses on how some clients are hesitant to dive into social media.
Undoubtedly many brands risk some degree of irrelevancy by foregoing social, but the part of the post that interested me most was the following:
“Think of it this way: imagine that most of your existing customers suddenly began speaking a new language. What would you do? Would you insist they revert back to English in order to do business with you, or would you learn that new language?”
Apparently, a lot of people agree that social is a new language.
Sure, thinking of it that way, it’s a good point. The problem is that’s the wrong way to think about it. Social is not a new language. Social behavior has been around as long as humans have existed. Good thing, since otherwise we wouldn’t be here today.
A better comparison might be the printing press. It allowed a behavior that already existed to become much more efficient and effective.
Clay Shirky says in Cognitive Surplus, “Media is actually like a triathlon, with three different events: people like to consume, but they also like to produce, and to share. We’ve always enjoyed all three of those activities, but until recently, broadcast media rewarded only one of them.”
One way that the proliferation of social platforms might eclipse the printing press in impact is that while the printing press meant replication became simple and more books and pamphlets were distributed, you couldn’t respond through the same medium unless you too operated a printing press. With social platforms, anyone with a computer, a smartphone or a local library can respond immediately and on the same platform.
So no, social behavior is nothing new. Social platforms are just allowing this behavior to become more immediate, more efficient and more effective.Posted 10 months ago with 0 notes