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  1. Deborah Smith
    August 13, 2010 @ 9:14 am

    Loved this and YES I do think the word “social” detracts from the serious potential this new medium offers. I never really thought about it though until reading your post, so bravo. I will need to modify the way I market my services from here on out.

  2. Thomas Atcheson
    August 13, 2010 @ 9:18 am

    One of the things I try and explain to clients is that social media isn’t a ‘new extra’. It can be, but that misses the point.

    It’s a tool that helps communication. Rather than thinking about what new work can be created and sent out using the work, it is a case of examining what messages need sending and how to streamline that communication process.

    Why send out costly versions of newsletters when you can integrate the information on your blog and broadcast it on twitter . Why set up a costly call centre when your Twitter account can integrate this function. Why pay for expensive conference sharing software when you can use vimeo and flickr to share the valuable findings of an event.

    Social Media is much more easy to understand if you explain how clients can save time and money rather than sell a ‘new silver bullet’.

  3. Steve Woodruff
    August 13, 2010 @ 10:27 am

    I favor Networked Communications, for all the same reasons you outline. I think “social media” is a misnomer that creates unfortunate mental imagery.

  4. James
    August 13, 2010 @ 10:29 am

    I think there is something in a name – but then executives by and large tend to be the last to adopt anyway! There is a majority of senior management where I work who see videoconferencing as some newfangled time waster, never mind relatively new things like Twitter… I remember having team meetings by videoconference back in 2000, between Brisbane Australia and Hong Kong. That’s at least a decade of lag they’re grappling with!

    At about the same time I had been using instant messaging for a few years as a productivity tool (I was a software developer) – and it was great for that. There are still many workplaces that see instant messaging and more sophisticated collaboration tools as time wasters, toys and so on – and those tools have serious, business-y sounding names like webex, sametime etc.

    So I think we have to get past a name, because the name itself is insufficient to sway those who can’t see the benefit and the opportunity. Perhaps there are some who’d perceive social media differently if it were introduced to them differently – but the issue’s still not in the name, it’s in their understanding of what it can do for them.

  5. Mike Ward
    August 13, 2010 @ 10:49 am

    I think the hurdle to overcome is the perception of what the services are vs. the reality of what they can mean for a business. One of the most common complaints I hear from non-SM users (like many executives who make the business decisions) is that they don’t want to hear “what someone ate for lunch” or “what they saw at the movies” or that “the party was so awesome”. Certainly there is a lot that, but what is less obvious is that within those minutia are clues to the audience’s tastes, habits and influences, what the competition is doing and related events for new opportunities of exposure.

  6. Krista
    August 13, 2010 @ 3:19 pm

    Great post– as always, you pose a thought-provoking question! It seems every practice goes through a growing pain like this and needs to address its perceptions. A re-phrase might soften the perception but shouldn’t downplay the importance social media plays in providing opportunities to connect with customers or stakeholders, something every company needs to recognize.

  7. Abbie S. Fink
    August 13, 2010 @ 4:30 pm

    We’re starting to refer to it as digital communications – incorporates more than just the social sites that way.

  8. Deirdre
    August 13, 2010 @ 5:56 pm

    Hi Deborah! Thanks so much for the great feedback on the post. I agree, there is serious potential for businesses who engage in social media (the right way). However, if executives don’t take the time to understand the potential or make the commitment, because of a false impression, this is such a disservice to the brand.

  9. Deirdre
    August 13, 2010 @ 6:12 pm

    Hi Krista! Thanks for sharing your insight on the topic. I definitely think we have to present social media the right way and soften the negative “social” perception. If we focus on how social communication leads to great opportunities with customers and other stakeholders, our brands will be more apt to engage. Changing the perception with words including strategy, collaboration, relationships, and value need to be included in the introduction. Of course, we must show the proof, which goes a long way. Have a great weekend 🙂

  10. Deirdre
    August 13, 2010 @ 6:14 pm

    Hey Abbie…I think that’s a good approach! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Deirdre
    August 13, 2010 @ 6:16 pm

    Hi Mike! You make an excellent point. If you can filter out all of the noise there are some real gems of information for the brand. Thanks for sharing your insight.

  12. Deirdre
    August 13, 2010 @ 6:23 pm

    Hi James! You offer excellent insight. A name is a name, and we will always have those who just don’t buy in. Perhaps, it’s more about change than anything else. Change is tough for many, even if the name is serious, strategic and sounds like business. It’s all in the proof and if we can show value then it won’t matter if it’s social media, digital media, strategic media, etc. Thanks so much for your comments.

  13. Deirdre
    August 13, 2010 @ 6:24 pm

    Hey Steve 🙂 I’m hearing from more people that they are using networked communications (showing that connection and collaboration). Has the the shift in the name made it any easier when discussing social media and business? Thanks for sharing!

  14. Deirdre
    August 13, 2010 @ 6:26 pm

    Hey Thomas, I like your approach because you are focusing on how to save money yet make excellent connections in less time. Great insight! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  15. Hotel Numana
    February 22, 2011 @ 5:12 pm

    Nice considerations but in my opinion everything depends by the country. In some country Facebook is only a waste of time and nobody use and understand Twitter. Social Media is a business if you can really reach people in that specific Social Media.

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