Sean loves to tell the story of a former boss scoffing:
"Internet? Bah, CB of the '90s."
I'm not sure I'd go so far as to call social media and all the tools that go with it "the CB of the new millenium," but I would say their power rests in the hands of the user.
This tool that is being bandied about by everyone from newspapers and corporations to celebrities and political figures, is another layer in the greater conversation. Because for all the talk about strategies and campaigns, social media comes down to people. If the people managing your social media are not invested, enjoying themselves or incentivized in some way, it will fail.
This new avenue for communicating is not a place for static messaging, it is an exchange*. Social media is listening and responding, engaging and affecting. Whether you want to counter a public perception of something or you want to gather information that enhances your ability to perform your job, social media can reveal new data, but you have to be social.
Social media has the potential to be an incredible tool.
It has it's doubters as any new(er) system will. But here is the rub—
If it isn't a passing fancy.
If it's more iPhone than CB.
If you continue to wonder about whether this really works...
How costly will catching up be?
*There's always some sort of disclaimer or fine print, right? Well, as much as we'd like to be the exception to the rule, we have to say this: Social media is social, unless you don't want it to be. You are in control, which means that if what you desire is simply to observe and gather information, you can arrange your tools in such a way that you are able to hear the conversations and people that interest you, or benefit you.