In my consulting experience I often encounter business owners who struggle mightily to get up to speed on this Social Media revolution that seems to be happening right at their feet while they are focused on keeping all their balls in the air above them. Their need to successfully incorporate this "new world" into their business model is overshadowed only by the desire to speed the learning curve and avoid making mistakes which could otherwise be averted.
One of the methods which aids in this intensive education process is pointing out places where business owners might already be further along the learning curve path than they think. Sometimes seeing something familiar in a slightly different light can quickly and simply connect a whole host of scattered dots. One of these typically familiar things is good old YouTube. The media darling of several years ago, most everyone has a baseline understanding of how it works. What many might not realize or appreciate is how YouTube is a living example of Social Media itself. Its mere existence can serve as an "aha" moment for many.
You place an eager audience into a functional platform where they can share and talk up some form of media (in this case video), and the seeds are sown. Community grows while members assemble historical archives of content they feel passionate about, and what you come to find is some seriously social media.
Given this more tangible example, people who might have previously worried that they couldn't get a handle on this next Internet generation find things starting to make sense.
Pick your media (video, white papers, blog posts, how-to's, reviews, etc…) and begin seeking out an audience where you can both contribute and learn more at the same time. That, my friends, is social media. Thanks to YouTube's long standing example, we all may be more learned about this stuff than we might otherwise have imagined.
That's a handy learning curve accelerator considering everyone's need to wrap their arms around this phenomenon as quickly possible. Once over this hurdle, businesses can get down to the somewhat more challenging task of figuring out how to leverage that knowledge into a practical component of conducting business and developing presence online.
(image credit: Jeff Lieberman)
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