Lucio Ribeiro

Where's the value in Social Networks?

No, social networks have not originated on the Internet (sorry!) Nor are they unique on the web. But it is undeniable that the power of the www to bring people together has accelerated its penetration among users of the net world, transforming the social websites into a "fashionable place to be"- not being part of a social networking site is almost like not knowing that Obama is US President : you are literally "out". However be careful of distractions, Social Networks are playground for useless business distractions.

Social networks are one of the oldest forms of relationship in advanced societies.

From the most complex to the simplest forms of connection, the human being with minimal intelligence creates ways to identify and organise their common efforts to promote exchange and social order - encouraged by their geographical proximity, economic interests, religion, favourite sport, recipes of foods with or without carbohydrates and so on.

Reasons abound, since the human being  is endowed with a privileged structure for living, not isolation or loneliness - he needs to be part of a society. Does Maslow Hierarchy of Needs ring a bell?

No, social networks have not originated on the Internet (sorry!) Nor are they unique on the web. But it is undeniable that the power of the www to bring people together has accelerated its penetration among users of the net world, transforming the social websites into a "fashionable place to be"- not being part of a social networking site is almost like not knowing that Obama is US President : you are literally "out".

Let's separate things well, then:

Social networking is a subject as old as humanity.  It's just that it's a little different now as shy young boys can approach the rest of the world via the Internet - a tool that is extremely

  • cheap,
  • fast and
  • efficient

- an absolutely perfect chemistry.

What we marketers and communication specialists still seem not to understand is that the Internet is still, in essence, just a means of spreading or growing interpersonal relationships and that the next person who says "I will create a viral campaign for the Internet" or "Let's do Twitter because is cool", deserves to be summarily kicked out of the company.

We are at the stage of back to basics:

- A successful action on the web that is able to extrapolate the Internet and promote a live occurrence between ordinary human beings. It is one that can motivate people to come out the front of their computer screens online and meet in a public square to sing, dance, buy your product, talk about your product (here s valid water cooler talk) or exchange worthwhile information.

- A myopic action is that one just focused on lots and lots of friends on Facebook (they are not really your friends) or focused in 10000 friends on Twitter, because you tell them something every couple of hours. This is not much useful for your business. It's a useless distraction.

The biggest challenge for us using social networks is to bring customers back to the real life connected by real things not just bits and bits.

Lucio Ribeiro

 


COMMENTS

Posted by Walter Adamson, 1 September 2009

The business value in the social web is in building business - beating the competition, building margin, perhaps building market share, and certainly in building customer equity value and brand value.

Perhaps we should use the words "social web" and then we can move on from there "is nothing new in this" discussion as that discussion doesn't help businesses know how to move forward. Of course there is nothing new in conversations and in the concept of building relationships and real loyalty among customers.

There is an enormous amount new, and much yet "undiscovered" in how to do that most efficiently and effectively in the social web -otherwise time and energy is wasted as Lucio points out.

But what we do have now is sufficient for companies to make solid plans, lay down clear execution paths, and address organisational changes necessary to build real value from the social web, in conjuction with their other activities.

Let's buckle ourselves into our seats and really take in what is happening - we have before us unprecedented changes in the economics of interaction, and we are on the cusp of the largest change in media since the invention of the printing press.

The value, to the businesses that get it right , is huge. And others will be harmed, especially if they think this is simply a distraction.

Walter Adamson @g2m
Social Media Academy, Australia


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Lucio Ribeiro Online Circle Digital Lucio Ribeiro
Company: Online Circle Digital
Position: Founder
Lucio Ribeiro is founder of www.theonlinecircle.com and co-founder of Social Media Club Melbourne. He is one of Australia's leading Social Media and Online Reputation professionals, and was recently elected one of top 10 most trusted SEO/SEM professionals in the world by Marketing Today.

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    Online Circle Digital

    Online Circle is specialised in communication strategies involving Social Media and digital. Our proprietary tool Online1984 is a powerful social media monitor tool used by fortune 300 companies. Talk to us +61 3 9696 7473  More info & Contact Details



     

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