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  • That would have been a bizarre family getaway! Well played. 🙂

  • hephail

    Social Media is a place where you get in touch with the people who most influence the perception and reputation of your company, brand or product.

    • Interesting. I’m wondering if social media can be called a ‘place’ – I see it more as a tool to enable something…the connections.

      • hephail

        That is where the disconnect lies. Collectively, it is a place where brands/companies/products grow or die. It is not a tool, but an animal which will either control, or be controlled.

        • I’m not so sure – in my example above, that’s what I was trying to explain/figure – the fact that these conversations are happening is not new at all. People have been discussing such things for ages. It’s just that they do it in written form now and it becomes trackable/searchable/archived and becomes useful for brands/individuals. That in itself is not social media, IMO – it is just an archived extension of what people have been doing anyway, with geography going out for a toss.

          What we/brands do with all this newly formed faculties (to listen and engage) is what social media is, in my opinion.

          • hephail

            Agreed. It is only today we are actually in a position to quantify Word of Mouth, or social media.
            Geography doesn’t go for a toss, because people to a large extent will talk more about what is happening around them.

            This definitely is social media, but we never really thought of it as such till now, because we lacked the analytics for the same. Analytics is where the real game changer is.

            Early indicators of what social media would represent, are present in the Cluetrain Manifesto http://www.cluetrain.com/ .

          • Rick Gondella

            I agree with you, Beast of Traal. If social/new media were a place, it would be Babel. Or Bedlam. There are a multitude of languages. There are screeds, diatribes, monologues and discussions, whispered, shrieked, and shouted.

            On the other hand, treated as a tool, it is about amplification, reaching the target, filtering the feedback loop and so forth. Great, great post. I would like to quote you in an upcoming webinar, if that’s okay… I will cite you, so please give me a good reference citation that describes where you want people to learn more.

            On another note, I guess the reference to “guru” as an insult is due to the appropriation (or misappropriation) of a sacrosanct cultural term. Is that the case? I agree that we should not co-opt cultures for the purpose of marketing.

          • Thanks Rick! Perfectly ok with the citation – just beastoftraal.com should do, I suppose. If need be, add my professional designation – may ring a bell instantly…head of digital strategy, Edelman India.

  • Paivi Harkonen

    Karthik, excellent elevator pitch!

  • Perfect One ! I am sure the guy got his answer 🙂

  • Dude, one of the best posts I’ve ever read in my life. 😀

  • Excellent!

  • Tarunjeet Rattan

    Vey nicely put Karthik…! I hope you got the funding ! 🙂

  • One of the best explanation to whom really not worth to social media.

  • michmski

    Nice article! Working in social media monitoring (Synthesio), I would have to also point to people speaking in other languages and say “do you know what they’re saying?” and people that you can’t even see but know are in the other stores — you can hear them, too.
    You can also compare them over time, dig deeper into the context to understand consumer behavior, and find out what people want from your brand/product/service.
    Thanks Karthik 🙂

  • I like your post! My elevator pitch is “I tell your story and manage your conversation online with the millions of prospects and customers looking for you.” This pitch has worked for me so far with 10 small to medium-sized business clients. 😀

  • Wijae

    Hi! Very interesting perspective. I like the analogy using small crowd conversations. These seem to be ideal and natural when intended to expand crowds organically (example facebook). I wonder, whether, when there are “inorganic” additions (example twitter accounts adding followers unknown) that after a point, the conversational buzz surrounding a person in the online social space ends up less as comments that are open, direct and frank, and more as reflecting his/her personal positioning that is sought to be protected.
    Take the case of any celebrity who has a large number of followers on twitter. In all likelihood, if a comment that is not necessarily complimentary or is seen even as faintly critical appears within his/her “conversation stream” I expect the celebrity would immediately block the sender, in order to prevent the “faithful” being exposed to criticism of their image online. This is similar to the typical corporate website which filters blogs deemed fit for publishing. In which case, my point is – its not exactly a two-way street all the time, is it?
    Yours was a great post and provided much food for thought!