Social Media: Is it real? Yes! If so, what does it matter? That’s up to you!

Posted: July 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

“This isn’t real.”

– Comment from business development manager about Facebook relationships

“That’s the whole thing about social media – either someone tells you something meaningful or he tells you he just got off the pot.”

– Co-worker, responding when he heard BDM’s quote

Actually, in one sense, they are both right. And, then again, they are both wrong.

To begin, Facebook relationships are not like offline relationships. We may be Facebook friends with hundreds of people to whom we will never speak directly. The threshold for accepting someone as a friend on Facebook is obviously much lower than for one offline. Many times, the relationships we build on Facebook and other social media sites are superficial. 

That is true up until the relationship takes on a new dimension. And this is why Facebook and other social media are “real”. If you do not have access to this superficial relationship then there is no way it can grow into something meaningful. So, for all those not on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn because they think these platforms are not “real”, the opportunity doesn’t exist to convert a superficial relationship into a meaningful one.

How much of the endless social media content is important? And how much is just a person enumerating the events of his day? The answer lies in what the definition of “important” is.

What people tell you on social media is often not useful to anyone, but that doesn’t mean it is not important. The person who actually types in the status update that he has vacated the bathroom is actually telling us a lot more than we might realize.

He has told us he has plenty of time on his hands. He has clearly shown he uses his computer often. And he has indicated that he feels the minutia of his life is important to us. Most likely, he will be there to hear the details of your business.

In essence, social media is real even if some relationships aren’t . It is meaningful even when it isn’t. The importance becomes discernment. How do you decide what relationships to foster? Which ones are ripe for cultivation? We’ll address those questions, specifically for Facebook and LinkedIn, in our next article.

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Ignite XDS brings the auto dealership to Facebook, allowing dealerships to privately brand Facebook pages for deeper engagement and targeted campaigns. Through applications and dealer-specific content, Ignite XDS provides social media and web marketing solutions to car dealerships looking for efficient, effective, and measurable brand image and community engagement.

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