Linda VandeVrede was much taken by a presentation by social media strategist Lon Safko in Phoenix recently. What Safko had to say indicated that the world has indeed changed, and that relational thinking now means modest, two-way messaging and listening -- not simply pumping out press releases.
"The value of social networks is that they lead to trust, which leads to sales," VandeVrede writes, paraphrasing Safko. "You can't push your message out anymore, you have to hear what your customers are saying. You can use social media for insights to market to your prospect. And to make sure your target audiences are aware of it, you need to put your Twitter and Facebook page information everywhere, from letterhead and business cards to websites.
"He (Safko) asked the attendees how many people had their Twitter address on their business cards, and only three or four of us raised our hands."
That would likely be the showing just about anywhere. A lot of us (me included) haven't entirely caught up with the trend to social media. We're mindful of it, but it hasn't fully sunk in what an epochal change it represents. We can't simply post "billboard" websites anymore. We've got to listen quietly to relate meaningfully, which means spending more time than some bosses might appreciate -- until they come to understand -- roaming and contributing to social media sites.
VanVrede's reporting of Safko's Phoenix remarks includes other nuggets, all of which come down to, "listen and learn to what social media is really about." It's definitely part of the new marketplace. (Maybe we'll be needing bigger business cards before too much longer!)
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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