Most people associate Social Media with:
- People tweeting about what they’re doing hour by hour (boring).
- Companies selling stuff on Facebook (annoying).
- Publicists trying to turn their television shows’ plots into real news (yawn).
The ‘other’ and much more interesting side of Social Media isn’t when we talk, it’s when we listen. Just use a hashtag (#) before a word or phrase to find out the latest buzz about it. If you haven’t already tried it, do it now. Go to http://www.twitter.com and type in #japan or #nuclear or #charliesheen to see what the world is thinking about.
Many people quickly decide that the real ‘news’ isn’t in the Tweets, it’s in the links people attach so you can find out more. It’s also in the links your own brain makes as it connects the dots in an ongoing effort to keep your world view up-to-date and aligned.
One really novel use of the hashtag, which the storyteller in me loves, is to offer up a group report on what happened at an event or throughout a specific discussion. Looking at how others see things can be as insightful as what they actually say.
Through the visual, a statistical synopsis of trackable tweets, comments, and on-line connections, you can see who did the most talking, what topics were most popular, where people met, and what mattered most. This kind of conversation/compilation summary chart is an important element of the customer experience.
Market researchers and publicists are already using and creating this kind of information. It’s only a matter of time before you will be using it too.