Social media model in the future – Learning from MIT Sloan management review
We all must have used one form of social media or the other. This blog, which I am using to communicate my thoughts is one. Social media is an attitude. It is continously evolving and self-organising. The current model of "clicks, shares, retweets and likes" of social media and the social networks reflects the current world culture.
A culture where people are experimenting with new found freedom of soically expressing themselves and sharing across boundaries.
Social media through its embedded networks have made a mark in the world and are here to stay. It will slowly evolve into a much more mature model, where people will drive real societal and business change through social mobilization and standing for a common cause.
The article from the Sloan management review titled "Beyond Viral: Generating value from social media" emphasizes this aspect. You can view the article Click here.
I am not going to talk about the oft-repeated benefits and value of social media here. Having said that, sharing of expertise and knowledge, community building, sense of belonging and freedom of expression are seen as the biggest benefits of using social media.
Within an organisation perspective, the benefits include: successive iteration of ideas leading to innovation, sharing of information and creating the valuable context around that information.
Though there has been a spread and usage of social media across the world, the usage is more towards temporary mobilization of crowds and thought processes on issues. The authors point out that social media models in the future should engage people and garner action for long term sustainable societal and business change.
Introducing suitable motivational incentive structures built within the social media networks will be good solution to engage audience in the long term, say the authors.
True to the article, so far, we have seen only "Likes" and "Retweets" as the popular social media action and reciprocity coming from people using social media tools. This results only in temporary support, thought and social mobilization. These actions from a business perspective are more apt for new product introduction, quick dessimination of information and innovation diffusion.
The question is how the benefits of social media be used for long term business change ? the answer lies in designing the social networks of the future.
At this juncture, I would like to point out an article written on this subject. Please click here to read it.
A social network is always embedded within a social media. Social media is the technological layer on the surface. The underlying social network needs to be fine tuned for the three important components of structure, ties and connections between the partcipants and behaviour of the members within the network.
This is quite a challenge and understanding social networks is interdisciplinary.Creating real incentive based motivation and trust among members involves discipines like: Socialogy, Computer science, Psychology and Ethnography to name a few.
Once we are able to achieve this new social network of the future, then real sustainable change through social media and long term social mobilization is possible.
We need to go beyond the current "Likes". By the way, as I mentioned earlier, it is the current trend among people and it has become world social media culture. It is continously evolving.
We need to wait for the culture to change or even a better alternative would be introduce the new social network in trickles and see how people adopt to it over time and make changes.