Do you understand it? Can it be understood? And around the new media bush we go. Social as used here means being connected with others, enjoying ourselves or an activitytogether. Being easy to interact with.
People and businesses desire it! To be sociable. Therefore, at the core of it, what makes one sociable? Authenticity – an original and real voice with an open and understandable intent. That values listening over speaking. That is the challenge. New media has brought about interactivity. That is two-way communication with the ability to provide a new perspective. On matters audience, information, and people or brands.
It is about balance. Realising new and enhanced forms of communication and the responsibilities and pitfalls in these technological advances. For businesses a point of concern is usually, how are new media solutions created, implemented, and supported? Most important being, what is the best way to get started? Truth is, we are learning as we go. Learning, adapting, and perfecting.
There is no generic solution. Everyone, like every business, is unique. This calls for solutions developed specifically aimed at its inherent and emergent strengths. So far, we realise that new media affects a business’ actions in three areas. First, its management information system (MIS). A head of department updates the director on Facebook, and colleagues on Twitter share as concerns an ongoing project. It is easy, fast, and a very enabling ecosystem. Second, the MIS is changed, though slowly, and new business applications developed. A friend tweets another who works at a tour company to ask availability of transport. The friend responds. She then asks how to book a vehicle for nine. She is guided and pays a booking fee via M-Pesa. Third, it begins to serve as the foundation of new possibilities. Creativity without borders.
It is about crafting the special functionality of new media to create new strategic solutions for business problems. More about leading, communicating, and making decisions. It is personal. The ability to communicate accurately and effectively is vital. The audience being employees, customers, stakeholders, and everyone. Getting to know one another, and helping to satisfy each other’s needs. Being sincere, and understanding.
The content is the key to audiences. It must address their issues. These issues are not linear, as you communicate, ideas are formed and questions rise within them that need addressing. Merely following a planned script is to be insensitive. It is this insensitivity that sees people miss out on friendship and businesses on valuable sales. Customer sophistication varies greatly and expectation levels are rising. They desire to be heard and responded to accordingly.
It is about being nice and pleasant company. Knowing how to twice as much listen, as to speak. And to speak the helpful and correct. New media is but the means of expression. How we do it, considering its reach, will be the true test of our having understood ourselves. Simple day-to-day interactions over time that will count for a lifetime. An invitation to conversation.