If you look up the word “social” on Wikipedia, it says: The term Social refers to a characteristic of living organisms (humans in particular, though biologists also apply the term to populations of other animals). It always refers to the interaction of organisms with other organisms and to their collective co-existence, irrespective of whether they are aware of it or not, and irrespective of whether the interaction is voluntary or involuntary.
I guess that’s why “they” call it SOCIAL Media and SOCIAL Networking. These two things involve the interaction among people. So why is it that people want to take the SOCIAL part out of Twitter and Facebook and all of the other tools that business communicators are blessed with today?
I suppose that it is much easier to pay an intern to automate the process and assign all social technology responsibilities to “the colllege kid” in the office. Sure, they can navigate new media sites while texting, eating dinner, watching TV and applying to graduate school, but can they really develop relationships for you? Can someone that has worked in your organization for a week truly understand the culture enough to clearly communicate it to YOUR target market in a way that makes them want to do business with you? Can a recent graduate build online reputations in your name with your peers the same way that you could after being in business for 17 years?
Yes, certain marketing and logistical functions involving new media can be outsourced to someone within your company or to an agency that can craft you message for you. But, is this really SOCIAL Networking?
Let’s face it. Social Networking COULD be a tool for everyone, but it is NOT a tool for everyone. If your job involves selling, building your personal brand or creating and strengthening relationships, then you probably need to take a closer look at your social media strategy. [Note: If you are asking yourself “what strategy?” let’s talk.] If you want to push your message onto your audience without ongoing feedback and engagement, you are right, have the intern to do it. Your audience will thank you.