Braintrust Query: Social Media? – Nah, It’s Personal
a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current
article from the Tenser’s Tirades blog.
All the recent chatter
about "social media for business" is driving
me around the bend.
For some time now, I’ve been searching for a terminology that
would rescue us from imprecision and allow a meaningful business conversation
to take place around the impact of smartphones within the retail environment.
the National Retail Federation Conference and Expo in New York, the presentations
and pitches frequently turned to the impact of social and mobile media, and I
kept cringing every time I heard it. Here’s why it bugs me so much:
When new business
phenomena have arisen in retail marketing, sloppy terminology frequently led
to poor initial understanding of the business opportunity. Often it is due
to a choice of words laden with confusing prior connotation — or
the absence of a suitable term.
We sometimes used "consumer" and "shopper" interchangeably;
now we distinguish between those two customer roles. We spoke of "manufacturers" or "vendors" before
the term "brand marketer" was introduced in the mid-90s. A deficient
thought vocabulary renders some concepts virtually unthinkable.
I submit that
when it comes to tapping shoppers via those pocket two-way radiowave computers
we call smartphones, there’s very little "social" about
it. It’s not social — it’s personal.
If we conceive of the mobile device as
a personalized channel for interaction between retailers or brands with individual
shoppers or consumers, then we would do well to set aside the imprecise term "social
start talking shop. These new media are personal media. Much of what happens
on them may be social in nature, but everything that happens on them is personal.
personal mobile device is taking shape as a personal nexus, where online, in-store,
social, and commercial communications converge in unique combinations tailored
by and for each individual. Each of us shifts roles at will, according to our
objectives of the moment — searcher, receiver, reporter, sender, aggregator,
re-transmitter, gatekeeper, purchaser, advisor.
Businesses that hope to play
effectively in this incredibly fluid and fast-changing media environment had
best get their minds around the personal nature of the shopper experience using
mobile devices. When we discuss our strategy for personal media, the marketing
mindset shifts in what I think is a constructive direction. Better decisions
and practices must surely follow.
As for me, I have nothing against online friendships;
but when it comes to business you may count me as anti-social. My reasons?
Well, they’re personal.
Discussion Questions: Do you agree with the author that effective mobile media is more “personal” than “social”? Do you see other misconceptions around the mobile media opportunity that are hindering its progress?