The Final Post - the 21 Day #lightbulb Challenge

Conversations not Adverts

Firstly thank you to everyone who has followed this Blog Challenge. I set out to write 21 bog posts in 21 days straight sharing ideas and insights on social media for business. Inevitably it's taken a few more than 21 days to reach this final post. I'll be collating all 21 posts into a downloadable PDF file so anyone who wants to can take it away.

As a result of this series I have been invited to speak at a few events based on the Lightbulb concept and generating unique ideas for businesses. After all; the technology we all use is exactly the same, how we apply these tools to each business is the creative challenge.

Social media is not about how much you tweet, how many followers or friends you have or how many retweets you get. It is about value. It's about adding value to the relationships that exist around your business, and adding value to your brand. It most certainly is a participation economy and those who get involved get the rewards. However 'social' must become apart of your business, not just tacked on as an after thought "because thats the thing to do these days".

Your business must be social, your staff need to be networkers capable of selling your brand in conversations not adverts. Marketing 2.0 is a dialog, it's an active conversation where your customers are probably creating as many social objects as you are. 

On Twitter or Facebook everything you do is promoting a brand. Whether thats brand YOU or brand X its no different. Whether you consider yourself a brand is irrelevant, everything you say online contributes to someone's opinion of you. There is nothing new about this last statement; on or offline it's just that with social media the impact of your content is less controllable than before.

I like to promote 'keeping it simple' after all social media is just 'people talking to people' but where I think businesses get their fear from is the unknown future. The game is changing rapidly, policies and guidelines need to be open and fluid documents, transparent and sensible. 

So is this a fad? Of course social media is not a fad. The terminology might change, the tools we use might change but we wont go backwards. Somehow social media seems to fulfill one or another of our hierarchy of needs, its addictive, its rewarding and it's driving change for good.