How Social Media Are Like Show and Tell
You remember when you were six, don’t you? The most compelling part of the school day consisted of bringing an item before the class and discussing it. You volunteered to talk, and others asked questions and commented. Sometime later in grade school—fourth or fifth grade, perhaps—the fun ended, in my age with diagramming sentences.
Today’s social technology enables you to continue to enjoy your deep-rooted desire to show and tell.
- You share personal news, insights, photos, music, bookmarks and videos on Facebook and a host of other websites.
- You blog or you tweet your own thoughts and discoveries, then comment or share others’.
- You show what you’ve learned on wikis and forums.
Always you interact openly, in cooperation with other participants.
How Social Technology Differs from Show and Tell
The weaknesses of this comparison teach us the power of the technology.
- This show and tell is networked rather than self-contained. Each participant shares with a different group, making the interaction viral.
- You don’t have to listen to Ralphie drone at length on an uninteresting topic. You can find someone more interesting, perhaps more like you, and share with them. Unlike show and tell you can meet new people.
- You can collaborate with others in your work.
- You can play games or even share simulated worlds on line.
The Marketing Opportunity
Every social medium establishes a culture particular to its community and goals. Just think how different are Club Penguin, LinkedIn and Caring Bridge, all classic networking sites but for different market segments. Our first task as marketers is to see where our target market might share their interest in our product in an online community. Sometimes it’s on our own website, sometimes it’s others. Then we can enable our target market to show and tell easily, effectively and frequently.
Does your organization bring a childlike openness and sharing to the social arena?