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Social Media: The New Path of Economics and Marketing

In A Rubric for Social Media Expertise, Liz Strauss is exploring how we use social media for our blogs and our businesses, especially how we organize and structure social media to work for us.

As the living web begins to seamlessly integrate into our concrete cultures and as our lives become globally intertwined, businesses are beginning to investigate what this means. Though the idea of markets as conversations may have started with Cluetrain ten years ago, but it has only become business credible with the advent of what we’re calling Web 2.0 and social media.

In recent years, major enterprise, telcos, cablecoms, and mainstream media have found more reason than not to look at social web models as unsound. Meanwhile we’ve been exploring concepts such as influence, authority, transparency, permission marketing, and experimenting with social media tools and networks to understand how a customer-centered market actually works.

Part of her work in developing educational standards for writing social media training materials, Liz explains that we are walking down a totally new path of economics and marketing which is returning to the “culture of a village” and changing the whole marketplace. You can watch from the outside or jump in – either way, you have to understand that this is the same as business techniques of the past while being totally different. In her words, “Can you spell paradox?”

She takes it even further with a quiz in Have You Organized Your Social Media Thinking Lately?

As we are all questioning where social media is taking us, and how much we should invest in the various types and forms, it’s time to organize your thinking around social media.

The keyword of the three day Blog World Expo event a couple weeks ago in Las Vegas was social. People were desperate to understand how to connect via the web with their customers and potential customers, and how to build the networks they so desperately need to build their business – yet they don’t understand how it works, why it works, and what will work specifically for them.

Are you questioning all that time you are spending on Twitter, fixing up your Facebook page, requesting LinkedIn connections, and trying to be all things to all social services and networks? Is it really working for you? Or are you spending a lot of time being social without the return on the time investment? Where should you really be putting your social energy?

When I was planning for my college options, I struggled with two challenging realizations. A higher education was important. I needed to take the basics and quickly move down my chosen educational path to secure my future career. Yet, I realized that all the knowledge in the world won’t help you when it is who you know not what you know that makes the difference. While I could get the basics of a great education at a community college or lessor known college, making connections with a sorority and my fellow students at a well-known, established (expensive) university were connections that would last a lifetime. Understanding that the relationships made during those crucial university years may benefit me more than the education itself helps move me in that direction.

The same applies in the online world. It’s the relationships formed through the social media that help you with your work and life, not just what you learn from the experience.

Maybe it’s time you started re-thinking about this new social world we live in to make wiser choices.

We’re becoming a global village. Who are your neighbors? Who have you been chatting across the virtual picket fence lately?

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, the author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.

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