Trying to wrap our head around the social networking phenomena has been a challenge for most people.
It's mind boggling how much people want to share about their personal lives.
But I've had a few 'aha' moments to shed some light on the subject from several new media sources.
The first was from Kyle Lacey who said a dozen times in one day, "Social media, is 90% narcissism."
WOW! That's it. It's all about 'me'.
How many friends do I have?
How many "likes" do I have?
How many followers on Twitter or connections on LinkedIn?
How many people retweet my stuff?
And, OMG, what's my Klout score? Sound familiar? Apparently, you're not alone.
According to The New York Times Insights, 68% of the people who "share" do so to make themselves "look better"!
Check out two great blog posts by Brian Solis, a big name in new media, who has extensively studied the effects of emerging media on business, marketing, publishing, and culture.
Social media has opened up the floodgates and given everyone the ability to show-off on a global stage and get lots of feedback. Or none at all. But either way, it allows you bragging rights.
Here's a great post from Brian on how big Facebook's reach is - bigger than the population of Europe, with Russia included. And only second behind China in the number of Internet users. It's huge.
Brian sums up its relevance to business by saying, "In the face, pun intended, of an important migration from that of a destination web to that of a social egosystem, businesses must rethink their web strategy. No longer is having a centralized www presence enough to satisfy the needs of online consumers. I’ve long maintained that businesses must augment their traditional web site with that of a social home page as well as a mobile experience. Catering to attention where it is focused is the only way to earn relevance in a new era of social consumerism. In doing so, businesses must also adopt a new mindset that doesn’t simply market to consumers the same old way just in new networks, but instead fosters meaningful engagement and connections by providing value…as defined by the very consumers you’re trying to reach."
As Adam Kmiec, head of Walgreens social media said in a post in 2009, "The rise of social media has simply given everybody the ability to stroke their own ego in public. And let’s be honest, it’s no fun stroking your ego in the comforts of your own home and without an audience."
Brian goes on to say, "This is your time to not only earn Likes, but also make them count now and in the long term."
Bottom line? It really is all about being popular!