Michelle Sullivan Communications

Social media impact: Us Now and an hour well spent

One of the roles I’m really enjoying as I dive into my new position as HKDP‘s (a.k.a. Hill & Knowlton/Ducharme, Perron) Director, Social Media and Digital Communications is going out to meet the firm’s clients and introducing them to the fascinating world of social media. Thanks to coverage by traditional media, they’ve all heard of platforms like Facebook and Twitter, but they’re not always sure of how social media can be applied to business … and to their business in particular.

Part of my presentation focusses on tools, and on case studies that show how platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are being leveraged by brands. But, in my mind, the most important part of my presentation is an attempt to communicate the power and potential of social media. An attempt to communicate its sociological significance. I believe that an understanding of these concepts will lead to an effective .. and, yes, hopefully  ethical … application of social media by big business.

This 60 minute video does a really good job of that :

Should you choose to invest an hour of your time to watch this video .. and I obviously encourage you to do so .. you’ll hear Clay Shirky and other thought leaders speak about the impact of social media. You’ll hear about truly intriguing case studies like Couchsurfing, Mumsnet, Directionless, Ebsfleet United, Linux, Zopa, SliceThePie, ThePoint .. and even Canada’s Green Party. You’ll hear fundamental truths about society … any society … that come to the fore with social media. Concepts like the fact that people trust people like them. They trust them more than any governmental body, health organisation or faceless bureaucracy or business. Concepts like crowdsourcing and the wisdom of crowds. Concepts like the trust economy.

I really connect with what Clay Shirky says about the 20th century being an anomaly (at 14:00) in that, as a society, we’re now reverting to a ‘common and deep human pattern’ of mutual assistance for any one of a number of reasons: because we like one another, respect one another, or because we’re interested in building our reputational capital. Being more than just a number. The era of passive consumerism is waning, if it isn’t already over.

So sit back for an hour, enjoy the documentary and don’t forget to listen for Ride of the Valkyries.

Hat tip to Karine Vezeau, who in turn hat tips Baptiste Roynette.  One of the great things about discovering a new (for you) blog (through a #FF mention on Twitter, no less) is when it leads you to gems like this. Karine’s blog is full of them. Pull your French-English dictionary off the shelf and check it out.