A while ago I was asked to write a thoughtpiece to go on the website of a new consulting company, atz communications, on what social media is and why it is important. The piece had to be limited to 450 words. Trying to condense such a big subject into 450 words was a refreshing challenge (here is the piece). However, over time, I have distilled it even further. I think it serves as a useful reminder of the underlying dynamics that make social media so revolutionary – even if, and when, we all grow tired of Facebook.
So here it is – in 161 words – The Three Horsemen of Social Media (or why social media is a big and important thing which you ignore at your peril)
- Reinvention – the economics behind the organisation of the traditional media are being turned upside down. Traditional media is going to have to re-invent itself for a world in which it has a much more restricted role and has to compete with a media space managed and mediated by individuals. Many media organisations will not survive this transition. Organisations will have to work out how to operate in this social media space if they are to maintain the reach and effectiveness of their communication.
- Transparency – it will become increasingly difficult to hide information. Transparency will become the ruling dynamic and this will change the whole terms of engagement between individuals and institutions. Trust will be vested in visible process not institutions.
- Niche – niche players will find it increasingly easy to challenge dominant market players – not by trying to replace them, but by peeling-off small segments of their customer or consumer base. Big players will face death by a thousand niches.