Social Networking – Is it a Mammoth Task?

Have you ever said, “I’ll use Twitter the day Clint Eastwood takes up knitting!”?

You’re not alone. A lot of business people still aren’t sure Twitter is of value to them in business. In fact, they’re unclear about this whole corporate social media and social networking on the web. I was dragging my heels as well, probably because I didn’t understand what it was.

So, what is a social network?Evolution at work?

Wikipedia says, “A social network is a social structure made of individuals (or organizations) called “nodes,” which are tied (connected) by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as friendship, kinship, financial exchange, dislike, sexual relationships, or relationships of beliefs, knowledge or prestige.” From this definition you can see that social networking isn’t something new. I’ve got a social network and so do you. In fact, social networks have been around since the caveman days.

Cavemen were “tweeting” to alert each other of danger or perhaps just to check in with the wife. Caveman Ralph would stand on a hill and let out a scream that meant (roughly translated), “Leaving work, now, honey. Want me to pick up a pig on the way home?” As we’ve evolved, we’ve adopted innovative software to help us do caveman tasks. Take PowerPoint, for example. Before the big wooly mammoth hunt, the tribe leader, Tor the Merciless, would have his “creative artist”, Larry, paint “slides” on the cave so he could show his cross-eyed but well-meaning warriors what to do when the mammoth comes.

The Wooly Mammoth - a walking grocery and apparel store

Tor would then “present” to the group to get their buy-in on his strategy for the hunt. (Tor tried to keep it down to less that twelve words per slide.) We’ve adopted PowerPoint to help me accomplish this age-old task of getting group buy-in. Surely we can adopt innovations to help us with our social networking.

If you’re having trouble adopting social networking it may be that you don’t understand the innovation. According to Wikipedia, Everett Rogers, in his studies of innovation, says that your “willingness and ability to adopt an innovation depends on your awareness, interest, evaluation, trial and adoption”.

And it’s true. I have been an early adopter of many things, if I understood them (understanding), they apply to me (interest) and they had value to me (evaluation) and worked well (trial). I did drag my feet and only bought the “Clapper” when the price came down. That’s because I didn’t place the value on it (evaluation) that they were selling it for originally. In summary, these new social networking web tools will make it much easier to stay in touch with the people in our social network in this time-shifted, virtual office world we live in.

And it’s so much better than screaming from the hilltop.

You could say that understanding enterprise social media is not such a mammoth task after all. Trevor, our social media strategist will explain it to you and how you can use it. If you’d like to understand Social Networking and social media marketing better, we heartily recommend a book called Social Media Marketing On One Hour a Day by Dave Evans. Wiley Publishing, available on Google at this link

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