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It's something many of my friends and business associates have often said and are still saying to me. It's never been a problem to me - I understand it as if it was part of my own BIOS!
The Five Zones of Social Media and Web 2.0
One way to look at the new paradigm with which we are confronted and in which we exist, all of of us to some degree, is as a 5zone Model.
These can be described as High Traffic (detection zone), Low Traffic (attraction Zone), Qualification (getting to know you zone), Engagement (lets talk business zone), and Intimacy (lets do business zone).
An analogical way (topological) of looking at this would be Motorway, High Street, Café Bar, Club and Walled Garden
Broadly speaking there is not a single Social Media platform that is good for all five of these factors and in order to establish the “map” of layered environments that becomes one’s Social Media Eco-System, one first needs to decide what the base components, (available to us all), are capable of; where their USP’s are and how they should be mapped on to the requirement that we set out as thinking that we have.
This is expressed this way, because whatever we think we wanted at the outset will almost certainly change as we develop our eco-system.
Back to the analogy; On the Motorway the traffic speeds by, though because of Twitter and Real Time Search we have the privilege of analysing (if we're quick) what the occupants in that traffic are talking about and thinking ...
in the High Street the pace is slower and we see what happens, we spot incidents, we see who knows who, we capture attention, we stop for a chat, we say hello to some old friends, we nod at acquaintances, we buy a newspaper and so on ….
Now – we wouldn’t generally expect to do business or have meaningful multiple conversations in that environment really would we?
We might invite the person to with whom we were conversing for a cup of coffee or a beer perhaps .. . So it is with Social Media.
Where will you have your qualification conversations? Does this person like me? Do I like them? Do we have something in common? What can I do for them? What can they do for me? What common acquaintances do we have? Where have they worked? What are they looking to do next … These are the fundamental aspects of Social Media.
Those who think that social media is all about simply turning “broadcast media” into “narrowcast” media will soon change their minds or risk failure.
Having had the coffee, what happens next? If you want to pursue serious conversations with the person, them you need to engage with them in a discreet place. By this time you need somewhere well out of the traffic zone, or even the Café Bar, so how about they come to your office, your favourite restaurant or the IOD, or your Club?
Here you can get down to business and properly develop that business relationship you are seeking.
Now – after all of that, how do you build a long lasting relationship that is mutually beneficial, without the whole of the social media world looking on? Lets say that’s where the “garden” comes into it. In fact let’s make it a Walled Garden.
So as you start to design you eco-system, think about these five elements of the requirement.
An example of which platforms belong where in your Social Media/Web 2.0 eco-system.
High Traffic Zone (Motorway) Lower Traffic Zone/(High Street)
Real Time Search, Twitter, Facebook, maybe some of LinkedIn
Qualification/The Café Bar
Twitter Direct Messaging, maybe Facebook, definitely aspects of LinkedIn
Engagement/ The Club
Absolutely LinkedIN, some private networks on NING and things like that
Intimacy/The Walled Garden
NING, LinkedIn and some comparable platforms or privately constructed network platforms.
Remember – Social Media is bi-directional at the very least and multi laterally bi and cross directional at its very best. Broadcast = disaster. Single direction Narrowcast = still disaster. Engagement is everything.
My personal Eco-System looks like this:
Both Traffic Zones/ Motorway and High Street - Twitter and Google RTS
The Café Bar - Twitter and some LinkedIn
The Club - LinkedIn and some NING
Walled Garden - Mainly NING, some aspects of LinkedIn
The tools with which all this can be managed are many and varied. I have 2 19” Screens with a desktop spread across them both and a 17” Laptop constantly cruising Real Time Search (RTS).
I use a number of presentation-layer tools, though my main desktop is Hootsuite. On here I can see all my Twitter Channels (20+ identities) and my LinkedIn update columns, and if I chose to monitor Facebook and G+ (and other stuff) from that same dashboard I could do that too.
Choosing the search tools is fairly easy, though the scene is always changing. Twitter in itself in this sense is a realtime keyword search mechanism. There are many aggregation and filtering and analytical solutions that offer themselves too.
The Key Messages of this brief paper are:
Multi-directional and spontaneous interaction is fundamental to using this medium.
Broadcast is passé and one way Narrowcast is not likely to work well at all.
No one platform is good for everything.
Just like a computer needs all the elements of hardware, op sys, RDBMS and App working in a network environment and connected to the web, with all the options there are at every level of that model, so it is with social media.
End of draft 2
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