Five New Ways to Communicate in Social Media

The challenge of all new media is to not use them like the old media. The stories are practically legendary: The first movies were filmed stage plays. The first TV shows were people reading radio scripts. The first Web sites were digitized brochures. It’s a fair assertion. A new medium appears, and it would be bizarre for us to imagine that the world would immediately understand precisely the best way to use it. It takes time, experimentation, and innovation.

With social media, we are moving to another era of use. During social media’s first wave, advertisers and marketers simply placed ads on the sites, taking advantage of the number of visitors to sites like MySpace and Facebook. The next wave involved integrating a company presence into a site and a community. The companies taking such great advantage of Twitter right now are the best examples. Dell offers customer service via the site, H&R Block provides tax support, and online retailer Zappos does just about everything via Twitter these days.

The next wave, though, the one we are entering into, fundamentally shifts the way companies use social media sites’ tools to communicate with their customers.

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