Labeling Something Social Media Doesn’t Make It So

The whole concept that we have a label called “social media for business” is fairly vague.

But I have found, as part of small and large businesses, as well as an individual, that what we call “social media” is actually the ONLY thing that works. It’s non-social or push media that is dying. (Newspaper advertising, direct marketing – print & email, even banner advertising, and PPC efforts are dropping in efficiency)

If we define social media as these things:

  1. forum and group participation (YOU ARE HERE)
  2. networks of people connecting to share leads, contract business, share leadership and strategy (that’s LinkedIN’s primary mission)
  3. connective links between people of similar interests, backgrounds, career paths, and business drives (again LinkedIn cannot be underestimated as the interactive or “social media enabled” rolodex of this next decade.
  4. rekindling and connecting with former rockstars we have worked with in the past (I have 3 people interviewing with Weisscomm this week who were all reconnected via my LinkedIn contacts.
  5. learning and sharing our experience
  6. forming tribes around themes (sometimes called memes) where we commune with others who have similar interests.
    – football teams – go Longhorns (DANG!)
    – humorous threads – dilbert
    – PowerPoint resources and presentations
    – ebooks on all topics (
    – technical expertise (CES, MSFT, Adobe Creative Suite, TED)
    – recreational activities
  7. And if those things don’t make sense, then perhaps we should back up and try and define even more microscopically what “social media” is.

I came up with The Social Media Formula a long time ago, but I still think it holds:

People [multiplied by] Platform [divided by] each Individual‘s ability to express themselves during the connection [minus]Misses or clash of style that degrades the communication.

So a simplified social media equation might be written like this:

P x P / I – M =  T [trust ratio of a connection/community]

I’d love to hear what you think makes up GOOD SOCIAL MEDIA.

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John McElhenney — let’s connect online
@jmacofearth & Facebook & LinkedIn & The Whole Parent

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