Social media is more than technology
Social media is more than technology, but many people get stuck on the technology. One of my clients expressed that what frustrated her the most was not being able to see how social media could contribute to relationships, because all she could see was the technology. She’s not alone, as other people have expressed similar frustration to me before. The problem is that technology can be a steep learning curve, especially if you only explain what to do. If you take the time to explain why someone needs to do something, it can help that person see past the technology to the underlying reasons that will help them grow their business.
Social media isn’t just technology. It’s a social medium, where you connect with other people. Technology is the means by which you connect with those people, but the actual activity is social activity that each person generates by commenting on their own news or commenting on other people’s news. When we look at social media in that light, we recognize that social media isn’t just a technological interface that does something that no one else can see. We recognize that social media is a conversation between people happening in a virtual space through technology.
The perception that social media is just technology is partially derived from how much people discuss the technology without considering the overall use. While it’s important to understand the technological piece of social media, focusing on it too heavily will lose people who otherwise might embrace it as part of their business. When I work with clients who feel frustrated by the technology, I spend a lot of time explaining the social piece because I recognize they need to understand how it actually connects them to other people as well as how those same people can sometimes end up contacting them offline as a result of that social media contact.
If we only frame social media as a technology we are missing out on what it can actually do for us. What do you think? Is social media just a technology for you, or is it more, and if so how is it more?