Social Networking – Start a Conversation, Not a Monologue
Social Media has become such a common concept that no one thinks twice about incessantly checking their Twitter, website, Facebook, and blog feeds, sometimes all at the same time, but one aspect that’s emerged as social media has become a more prevalent concept is the idea of social media contributing too and increasing narcissism. Narcissism is of course a commonplace attribute in our “me, me, me” current social landscape, but since Web 2.0 culture has emerged, there has never been such an fervent outpouring of self serving platitudes since the actual Narcissus was staring back at his gaunt reflection in the proverbial lake. Besides average people embracing this newfound facet of self-promotion, celebrities have even upped the ante to unimaginable new heights of shameless posturing; Kanye West’s twitter feed alone could probably supply a handful of third world countries with enough ego to last at least a few drought-ridden months.
That’s a major reason I want to promote the use of social media for its original intention of creating a smaller world through interpersonal relationships and connections, whether for an unheralded social cause, or simply creating a friendly online atmosphere for constructive criticism. Businesses can greatly benefit from encouraging an open exchange of ideas between themselves and their customers. A Twitter account or Facebook wall can easily be used as a suggestion box or as a customer service tool. Many of the bigger companies already do this, and it’s just as important for the small upstarts to take advantage of the same opportunities. The current atmosphere of Social Media on the Internet has created the perfect environment for businesses to start an in-depth conversation with customers both on a friendly and critical level. I urge smaller business to really identify how to start these conversations with their audience, and they’ll quickly find that following these tactics will positively influence their business more than just merely touting their new products and playing the “me, me, me” game. Social Media has opened up an entirely new world of networking and information exchange for every type of business model, but it’s important to utilize the ideas and critiques of the customer to not only enhance your own product, but also their experience in interacting with your company.