Social Media – Why Do You Play The Game?

by Lee Buford on March 9, 2010

Much has been said and written about the phenomenon that is “Social Media”. You can’t escape it…your friends are using Twitter, your colleagues are using LinkedIn, and your kids are watching the latest videos on YouTube. Heck, your mother has been trying to get you to be her “friend” on Facebook.

In fact, unless you’ve been living in the proverbial cave for the last five to ten years, you probably have used at least one or two forms of social media yourself…or at the very least you’re aware of the madness surrounding you. If not, let me assure you…you are indeed the ONLY one who isn’t aware.

That said, this isn’t another post on Social Media 101, or how to capitalize on the latest, greatest “next big thing.” My intent here is to challenge and encourage each of us to examine our individual reasons for playing the game and, in doing so, to look at how we might raise the bar for the benefit of the greater community.

If you’re engaging others on an individual basis, are you simply doing it for fun? Are you doing it to support a cause, sell a product, or promote a business or personal interest?

If you’re engaging on a more professional level, such as business, church or organization, are you clear about the desired results and/or experience you want to create for the consumer of your platform?

In most cases there is no specific, right or wrong answer. In fact there are often several more-than-sufficient answers for each of us, relative to the platform and the purpose. The important thing is that you have an answer!

Why is this important?

Very simply, if you don’t know why you’re doing it you’re not likely to be very effective at engaging and connecting with others. The end result will be a lot of noise, but very little true connecting and engaging in helpful dialogue around a certain issue or platform. To me, that’s where it’s at…what it’s all about.

We must remember that, while most social media tools are free, the commitment to using them is not. At the very least, regular participation in this arena will cost you a valuable resource: TIME!

Value time. Appreciate engagement. Build relationships. Add value. Offer solutions.

If we all do this…in the end, the individual and the community win!

What are your thoughts?

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