Posted by: BayAreaComRE | January 3, 2011

Social Media is about People

Social Media is all about the people, and every tool and app in social media helps connect people (not the other way around). Justin also posted this on his client’s blog, AppBistro, which is the leading online market place for Facebook applications. Feel free to comment here as well!

The transformation of what Tom Foremski calls the “Media Valley” that emerged from the Silicon Valley, has created myriad new business development opportunities spanning all industries, operations and strategy.

The cold call is dying a fast death because, simply put, there is no need for calls to be so COLD. Clara Shih at the BizTechDay Conference in San Francisco highlighted one of the greatest strengths of Facebook and most social networks – the connection capability.

Social Networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Quora recommend people you may want to connect with. They allow you to search for people by name, email, high school, past employer or favorite dog, and find the degrees of separation with your current contacts. If Sally knows Bob and Joe knows Bob, then Sally will more likely connect with Joe because they have a mutual contact in Bob. Social media facilitates this process more than ever before.

It can feel overwhelming to generations who came before the Facebook Generation (Gen F). I feel completely natural exploring new media and growing an online presence. My dad, on the other hand, constantly asks me basic questions about how to update his status on Facebook or use an application (and my grandpa for that matter! He is 87 and has a FB profile and LinkedIn). While they are in the social media space, it takes longer to adopt and adapt.

As Generation F ages and comes to power in the real world, the entire dynamic of companies and business development may be transformed. Social media has vastly different ways of reaching success than traditional business.

It’s the ones who unselfishly contribute and disrupt that win. Gary Hammel nails this point.

“Credible arguments, demonstrated expertise and selfless behavior are the only levers for getting things done through other people.”

Social Media, at its core, is not about the network technology, the software nor the cloud; it’s about people. When you realize this, the applications will be much easier to navigate and use to your benefit, and your bottom-line will be reached more easily. Whether you want to reach people in the social media or technology world, provide customer service for your product or learn more about your competitors, there is an App for that! Just remember, there is always a person behind the tweet, the update or app.

Check out some of the best self-promoters. They are the best because they don’t necessarily promote themselves as much as add value to others, establish a brand, and watch their ideas go viral. Most of the top business development people have extensive networks in social media grown through sweat and persistence in their online brand as well as expertise in their field.

I still have a lot to learn, but when I realize that social media is a tool to connect with real people and not the other way around, my brand and online identity becomes synchronized with my offline relationships.

I am a commercial real estate advisor, and I work with tenants to find office space. This is a very old-school industry, which, in my mind, makes it ripe for disruption with social media. I will not succeed by pushing a real estate agenda on my Twitter Followers, Facebook Friends or LinkedIn Connections. I want people to know what I do and that I am an expert in my industry, but sometimes I have to do this by becoming a student or expert in theirs.

Social media is a tool to build relationships. Apps and networks facilitate your own branding and networking.

The “Media Valley” is a great place to search, connect and develop for free or at little cost, but it’s your time, direction and identity that help you succeed.


  1. Happy New Years guys. I love this type of post, it’s important sit back and put social media into perspective. Social media is simply tools that allows one to connect and interact more efficiently.

    The ones who will benefit are the early adopters and the ones who understand that social media is about people. Like Gary Hammel’s quote, “Credible arguments, demonstrated expertise and selfless behavior…” is the only way to win.

    Keep up the great work, I look forward to seeing what you guys can do in 2011.

  2. Discussions like this about social media are a good a way to promote and expand the topic. I have nothing else to add to this topic other the need to further understand it. Thank you for the article BayAreaComRE.

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