Social business is an opportunity, not a magic bean
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Reading this blog post, and the comments, about Pepsi’s struggles with social media, reminds me of a lesson I learned early on as a musician. My inability to play a piece of music successfully, with precision and soul, was not the music’s fault. The song is a vehicle, a construct, an opportunity. What gets expressed through it is largely up to me.
I think the evolution of the web into this experience we are calling social media can be and should be thought of in the same way. The possibilities unleashed by social media are undeniable with Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Wikipedia, Amazon, etc. And that’s just the beginning. Most of the people I know would agree that it signals a sea change in the way we use the web, interact, and shop. It will also, and is, changing the way businesses run.
We call it social media or social business, but isn’t it really just Communication Version __ ? A short, incomplete history of it might look something like this:
And something else will be here soon, but social underlies it all. We need to be honest, and fresh, and connect to do any of it well, and no amount of money will make up for the lack of those qualities. A blog post from over a year ago on Pepsi’s Canadian market woe’s shows why effective social business, as with music, must be about more than money or technique. It’s also about soul.