Using Social Media as a Business, not a Social Tool

What-are-you-pushing

(from Soshable)

Twitter started out as a social tool, asking its users “What are you doing?”. Now, it’s become an effective business networking tool with an agenda…  “What are you pushing?”.

Business social networking boils down to two motivations to building a productive network: 1) getting your message across, and 2) getting others to feel comfortable with you. More simply, 1) branding, and 2) developing relationships

Before the advent of social media, business networking focused first on the message for the obvious reason that, without LinkedIn or Facebook, strangers didn’t exactly know what you did.

Relationship building has always taken time because it is personal. And social media adheres (correctly) to the protocol of having the equivalent of a beer, perhaps in the form of a Twitter chat, to get to know one another.

But business prizes efficiency and speed… they demand a media marketing model that broadcasts their brand and message, and attract those with common, shared business interests so they can move onto the deal.

Corporate practice of social media reflects this mindset. Starbucks, Comcast, Dell and Zappos use social media for, in essence, real time customer support. It’s all about the brand, and it’s aggressively business oriented to give the company a live face.

Consumers are beginning to demand real time results. The next evolution of business social media will facilitate connections between two parties to do business in real time. It’s inevitable that business social media presence will look like cut to the chase advertising. Only those with common shared business interests will opt-in to receiving that advertising. Here’s an example: those who need, say, baby sitters from time to time will opt-in to see a bunch of tweets asking for babysitters.

sitter seattle

The spammers will always be a presence on social media. The most efficient way to deal with them now is to just ignore them.

About Pat Kitano

Patrick Kitano works with brands in developing hyperlocal engagement solutions and is administrator of the Breaking News Network, a national hyperlocal network devoted to community service. He is the author of The Local Network on Street Fight, and is reachable via Twitter @pkitano and email pkitano@gmail.com.