Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Groundswell- Social Media

In our dynamic world, the three most common trends that we find on social media are:-

1. People's desire to connect
2. New interactive technologies
3. Online Economics( Cheap way of marketing communication)
has created an era of social web which is growing really fast and the phenomenon can be described as groundswell.

Groundswell is the world of people who thinks, share and create new things online in a riotous manner and that content gets multiplied  fast among other members.
The groundswell includes social networks like facebook, blogs, twitter, myspace, orkut, RSS feeds, rumour and review sites such as digg, rotten tomatoes etc. The groundswell does not stand still. It is continuously adding new technologies into it and besides it, groundswell is incorporating its new cultural aspect to it. For instance, twitter does n't allow its users to tweet more than 140 characters and thus forcing them  to develop a new language- tweet language( A naive won't be able to understand this language).

So what are the characteristics that make a new technology in social media- a technology to become a successful partner to groundswell:-

1. Does it enable people to connect with each other in new ways( This is where Google Plus is losing out to Facebook- Until and unless it adds new ways to improve communication among individuals; it cannot overcome facebook. Hangouts is a good option

2. Is it effortless to sign up? Most of social media sites allow you to sign up effortlessely for free( of couse). However, initially facebook and even google plus adopted the tactic to allow signup via special invitation mainly to create a buzz;;

3. Does it shift power from institution to people?
Good examples are digg, rotten tomatoes, imdb etc where user generated content drives the websites.

4. Does the community generate enough content to sustain itself? Is it easy to generate tagging and content on the website.?

5. Is it an open platform that invites contributions and partnerships. As a engineer, I usually think of operating system on the cloud where people can process their work free of cost and submit their advice for the next user how to use the same efficiently.

So the two important elements of groundswell or World of Social Web are People and Technology.

As far as people are concerned, there are different types of participants on the social media- creators, readers,collectors, joiners and critics. For Business people, official blogs are created by employees or special team so participants that are  most vital to the marketing communication are reactors and readers. For the same reason, business community has to sort out the profiles of reactives and readers( For instance audience in South Korea behaves completely different to the audience in India) distinctively in order to make a connection with the target or quarry audience in a righteous manner.

In short, it pays you a lot in marketing to concentrate on people rather than technologies.

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