To Honor Social Media Day: “Hug Your Community”

Social media is a misnomer. It’s not about “media” — which is the channel by which communication gets delivered.  It’s about “community”:  people getting — and giving — help, advice, and support from others.

The Silicon Valley Executive Social Media Council (SVESMC) is my favorite example of this type of community. Earlier this month, the SVESMC met for it’s second practioner’s meeting.  Measuring the impact of social media was among the topics discussed. So, in light of Mashable’s self-proclaimed “Social Media Day”, I’d like to share a few insights from my favorite community – and echo thoughts that Petra Neiger shared in her Cisco post on this topic also.

During the gathering, a few folks took some time out to shoot impromptu videos to share lessons learned and to remind us about the impact social media has had on our lives.  The first video is a series of tips from people I consider top practitioners at prominent high tech firms here in the valley.  I found it very “telling” that both Gurmeet Dhaliwal (CA) and Jeannette Gibson (Cisco) both chose “listening” as the key strategic tip they would give others.

Listening is the first of five key social media objectives Forrester identified in the Groundswell book. I later wrote research to help B2B marketers set social media plans and incorporated the POST strategy into this work. Successful social media means knowing who you want to engage and how you want to change the nature of your relationship with them as a result. To do this right requires listening to that audience, not just shouting at them with an online bullhorn.

The second video is a series of personal stories about how social media changed some of the member’s lives — in both big ways and small.  Watch and see if you can relate. 

These are just a few examples that remind me how important a community can be to helping us navigate and learn about this new socially-connected, online world.  Happy Social Media day!  And in honor of it, find your favorite community and show them your appreciation.

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