5 Reasons You Should Learn About Social Media


Image Credit:  Gary Hayes

Ken Kadet recently tagged me in a post he wrote on 5 things about social media he’d like to see change asking me to share some thoughts along those lines.  Since Ken covered that topic pretty well (I agree with what he wrote), but I’d still like to continue the meme of 5, I’ll instead write on 5 reasons you should learn about social media.

1.  You will learn how to get significant social traffic and interest to your web property.

Social media traffic is the true sign that you have developed a remarkable web property.  It is essentially proof that you created something amazing, since people liked enough to share it with their personal contacts, or with an entire community of users.  Learning the content archetypes to achieve social traffic starts by actually participating on social sites relevant to your niche.  If your team is creative, you may be getting social traffic already as a natural byproduct of your efforts, but it is still worth learning and participating as there is an infinite source of inspiration out there.

2.  You will learn about web culture, internet memes and all the new phrases born in the petri dish of the social web.

Much of the social web involves ongoing inside jokes on outsiders.  And, the more the outsiders get confused or are oblivious, the funnier it is to those of us laughing.  What few realize is that the community is absolutely open to anyone joining in the fun.  But you must participate and learn the culture prior to becoming a part of it.  Some companies get it and are part of the fun (and for it have literally armies of allies against their competitors) – others are not so lucky and are on the other side of the spectrum.  It’s not that much effort, and is very worth it, especially if you are a creative and can infuse the rich culture of the web with what you’re doing.

3.  You will learn about authenticity and the proper way to grow your brand organically using social tools.

Growing your brand using the social web is not an easy process.  In fact, just the opposite, it takes a great deal of consistent time and effort.  Your customers are going to get real with you and you will receieve feedback more honest than you’ve ever gotten in your life.  You’ll hear your biggest faults, but you’ll also hear the biggest praises.  Soon you’ll discover a new level of transparency you never before thought possible, and grow a fan base that will want to see you thrive and work to boost your reputation.

4.  You will gain a true understanding behind how things like Wikipedia can exist and the miraculous power of scale.

Many people don’t quite understand how Wikipedia has more than 2.6 million in-depth articles, all created by users who weren’t paid a dime (or even more amazingly, that all of those articles were created by only around 75,000 users out of 684 million visitors to the site yearly).  But if you learn about social media, these numbers will start to make sense – the social web enables humanity to organize and collaborate over periods of time on complex projects previously not possible.  The social web is inspiring people the world over to pool their intellectual resources for good.

5.  You will see how millions around you are forming deep, lasting connections and make some of your own.

The social web has spawned both micro and macro communities of people.  Learn about the tools and participate and you too will forge connections with people globally who have no hidden agenda and merely wish to share their world with you (and yours with them).  I have personally made friends around the globe, some of whom I have as deep, if not deeper connections with than people I know in my physical life.

Since we are doing the tagging thing to keep this conversation going, I’ll tag Michael Fruchter, Adele McAlear, Eric Friedman, Connie Bensen and Mark Dykeman as I would love to hear 5 things about social media (or any subject) they would like to share.

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