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  1. Jarret Pazahanick
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  2. Gregory Misiorek

    Hi Chris,

    excellent blog, with links and advice on how to work through the maze of the grid. there is not much i can add to it, except that there’s always a dark side. i’m aware of the usual suspects like taking time away from “real” work, spam,  or running a risk of being sued, but i was wondering if you have encountered any other risks that have been emerging with the advent of the social media.

    Best regards,

    greg

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    1. Chris Heffer Post author

      Hi Greg,

      Thanks for taking the time to read my post and commenting.

      There is always a risk you can waste time on social media becasue there is so much content out there and a lot of it very interesting stuff which you would rather read than do your day job.

      The key in my opinion is to figure our how you can align social media use to your day job. If you spend time learning stuff to do your job better and writing blogs to help communicate better with your customers and prospects, it is absolutely part of your day job.

      I think you are right in saying that your use of social media should be relevant to your job. You could say the same about your use of your mobile telephone or your computer. If you are at work and you are using either of those for non work related things then you shouldn’t do that either.

      The key thing is to find ways social media can help you do your job better. When I speak at events one of the ideas I talk about is:

      “Its not about having a social media strategy it si about aligning social to your business strategy”

      This works at a company or an individual level. There is no point doing anything on social unless it helps you achieve something you want to achieve.

      This is a live recording of a presentation I did at Facebook London office for social media week entitled “why you dont need  a social media strategy”

      http://chrisheffer.com/2012/09/28/why-you-dont-need-a-social-media-strategy-from-smwldn/

      I would love your feedback on the idea I present.

      Chris

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  3. Steve Rumsby

    I don’t mean to sound critical (he says, about to sound critical:-) but it seems like there’s something wrong with a blog about what I can get out of social media. Don’t get me wrong – you’ve given lots of good advice about how to use social media effectively. But I find social media works so much better if I’m looking for what we can get out of it. Isn’t that what “social” is all about, after all – working together?

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    1. Chris Heffer Post author

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for reading this blog and leaving your thoughts.

      You raise a valid point.

      I do agree that in an ideal world I would have wrote it from the perspective of “what can we get from social” not “what can I get from social.”

      I wrote it from this perspective because when I was surveying some people I was due to teach about social media the general feedback of it was that they did not see the point  of using social and it wasn’t that high on their list of priorities. The purpose was to convince the people who didn’t think it was important to them that they should get involved.

      In another blog I linked below I talk about selfish vs self interest.

      http://chrisheffer.com/2012/09/19/how-to-get-people-share-your-content-social/

      I think most people do the things they do it because they have self interest in the out come.

      Whether it is

      • an individual working in a team who wants the team to be successful so they keep their job and feel valued
      • a volunteer helping out a local community project which they do because they feel fulfilled and content that they have contributed back to the community
      • someone donating to charity so they feel they have done their bit to help give to others less fortunate than themselves
      • a mother helping her child because she feels like a good mother

      Although there may be an except I can not think about, the general way is that people do things because of self interest. Even if it is just that they get a good feeling from doing whatever it is they do.

      I would welcome your feedback on my reply.

      Chris

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      1. Steve Rumsby

        I guess you are right that ultimately you can frame every action, how ever sacrificial, as self-interest, if you indirect far enough. I don’t find it terribly helpful to think that way, though. You don’t have to get to far away from direct effects before people stop seeing them.

        For example, here on SCN the platform is built with the ability for people to “like” or “rate” other people’s content. In fact, it somewhat assumes that people will do that, to ensure that over time good content becomes visible while bad content gets lost. But people aren’t doing that, and so the whole “ratings” system isn’t working? Why aren’t they? Why should they? Well, because SCN will be better if everyone does, but that’s too indirect a benefit so most people aren’t seeing it. This has to be seen as a benefit to the community, what “we” get out of it, and focussing too much on “I” stops people thinking this way.

        Sorry, but I really do believe social media is about so much more than what I can get from it. If you forget about the social and community aspects, you miss so much of what it is, and can be. I take your point that many people don’t get involved because they don’t see the point, and that giving them direct benefits might help get them started, but the indirect benefits can be so much bigger. Don’t leave them out!

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        1. Chris Heffer Post author

          Hi Steve,

          Thanks again for your reply.

          I think conversation is far deeper than social media. We are talking about what motivates people to do things. I do not know a great deal about this topic but I am trying to learn more about it.

          Broadly speaking there are two types of motivation extrinsic and Intrinsic.

          Extrinsic is when you are motivated by an external reward. EG If you make me a cup of coffee I will give you £10.

          Intrinsic is when you are motivated by something internal like feeling part of something or helping a goal bigger than yourself. EG If you contribute to wikipedia you will help create a global resource of knowledge to help educate the world.

          Although they are potential places where extrinsic maybe better more often than not it is the easy option that is the crutch to keep the corporations of the world alive. They motivate their employees to work hard by paying them more. They motivate their customers to buy by giving them discounts.

          Intrinsic motivating is much more powerful and sustainable. However it is significantly more difficult to set up because it goes against the way businesses are run.

          I believe companies who have a cause or a belief that employees and customers can collectively agree on and want to advance will be much more successful than those who just give bigger pay cheques or bigger discounts.

          I have written a couple of posts on how to motivate people to buy but it could equally be applied to how to motivate people to do anything.

          http://chrisheffer.com/2012/03/21/how-do-i-motivate-people-to-buy/

          http://chrisheffer.com/2012/05/01/motivate-people-to-buy-2/

          Chris

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          1. Steve Rumsby

            You may claim to not know much about this stuff, but you clearly know more about it than I do!

            I guess what I’m saying is that the big benefits from social media, as I see it, come from intrinsic motivation because that’s what builds community, and building community is the big benefit. And while people might need some extrinsic motivation to get started – and this post provided lots of advice for that – I don’t believe that alone will keep people going, and that alone won’t help people get the best from it. I’d just like to see some mention of this alongside the extrinsic things!

            Thanks for this conversation – this sort of thing really does make you think. I like being made to think 🙂

            Steve.

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        2. Steve Rumsby

          One more thought about this, looking at social media in a wider context. One of the problems I see with the world at large these days is too many people thinking “me” and not enough people thinking “us”. If somehow we can get community thinking back into people’s heads by making social media fundamentally about “us”, there’s a chance that will leak out from the online world to the physical world.

          I know, I’m probably dreaming. But sometimes dreams come true… 🙂

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  4. Ernest Reeb

    Chris – great coverage. I have only recently gotten into social media in a ‘major’ way but my first real blog post was in search of how people use social media.  Interestingly enough, it seems to me that most people use different media in much the same way.  

    One question I have, however, has been escalated based on your post; is social media really so self-focused? 

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    1. Chris Heffer Post author

      I think the real benefits of social are not so self centered as this article may come across. I wrote this to try and convince people who werent using social to start using social.

      I think the next stage in social is when people start to understand how to use it properly to change the way organisations run.

      I guess there will alway be some self interest involved. Even if you was giving your time/knowledge away with no way of getting return you would be doing it because it is the right thing to do. Which I can only assume would make you feel better about yourself else you would do it.

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