Good ideas spread. Bad ideas spread. I've said it before, and I will say it again: the best thing about Social Media is that anyone can publish anything, and the worst thing about Social Media is that anyone can publish anything.
Here's our new reality:
"In both internetworked markets and among intranetworked employees, people are speaking to each other in a powerful new way."
Granted, this "new reality" was actually forecasted exactly ten years ago in the fascinating book, The Cluetrain Manifesto, written by Christopher Locke, Rick Levine, Doc Searls and David Weinberger. You could swap the words "internetworked markets" and "intranetworked employee" with words like wikis, Blogs, Twitter or online social networks, but regardless of the platform, these Digital channels are changing not just everything we know about publishing, but everything we know about communications.
When we speak online, we are publishing our thoughts to the world.
It is a permanent record that is findable, clickable and linkable. The way in which you do business is no longer being passed to new employees through one-on-one training or group lunch and learns. The way in which you do business is being passed to new employees through internal Blogs, wikis, Podcasts and more. How we communicate is now a part of public record. Our tribal knowledge now lives on and grows.
We moved from instant messaging to public messaging... and that's a good thing.
If real marketing is about creating real interactions between real human beings, and if we're sincere in changing how we do "business as usual" to amp up the transparency and credibility, what better way to do that than by using these new digital channels to demonstrate how we speak, connect, sell and grow? The biggest shift is that all of the voices from within the company are heard. We can also hear all of the consumers and non-consumers too.
This is the group conversation.
An entry-level employee can have a Blog following that rivals the audience penetration of the PR department, while a mid-level manager can have many more followers on Twitter than people interested in showing up to a luncheon featuring a keynote presentation by the CEO. To make things that much more interesting, the consumers can create fan pages and communities around your brands that have more traction than any marketing initiative you have ever launched (and for way less money).
And here's the kicker: we really are speaking to each other, and that is way more powerful than marketers telling customers what they want them to hear.
This post is part of the Cluetrainplus10 Project. The project was created to celebrate the ten year anniversary of the manifesto. 95 bloggers from around the world are writing a blog post on one of the 95 theses. I chose #8 - "In both internetworked markets and among intranetworked employees, people are speaking to each other in a powerful new way."