Exploring the world of social media

WEEKLY #1: I counted 10

Sure, the number 10 is a nice round number. But I didn’t plan it that way. After reading and re-reading The Cluetrain Manifesto’s 95 Theses, I’ve concluded that 10 is the “actual” number of theses.

Below is the list I chose and an explanation for why each one is important.

1. Markets are conversations.
While companies have often thought of their target markets in terms of demographics, psychographics, and purchasing decisions, at a very basic level, markets are conversations — or exchanges between buyers and sellers.

3. Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice and aren’t contrived.
In the world of social networking, nothing can take the place of a real human voice. It’s powerful and has the ability to transform the way consumers relate to businesses, their employees, and others in a shared community.

6. The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media.
In the era of mass media, companies used a one-way model to communicate with their consumers. The Internet has opened the door to multiple layers of communication between consumers, companies, and employees.

9. These networked conversations are enabling powerful new forms of social organization and knowledge exchange to emerge.
With the power of these social networks comes a lot of information sharing. People are sharing their thoughts as well as important facts about companies.

10. Markets are getting smarter, more informed, more organized.
As consumers gain more knowledge, they also gain more power. Gone are the days when a company could fully control its message and expect its consumers to buy in to those messages without question. Consumers now control the message.

14. Corporations do not speak in the same voice as these new networked conversations. To their intended online audiences, companies sound hollow, flat, literally inhuman.
Consumers can recognize a company’s lack of human voice. And consumers don’t respond to what they deem as “corporate speak.”

34. To speak with a human voice, companies must share the concerns of their communities.
Speaking with a human voice is not about insert humor or slang. It’s more about listening and understanding what consumers are looking for, and then engaging them in conversations about those things.

47. [Companies] need to resist the urge to “improve” or control these networked conversations.
It requires a shift in mentality for companies to not try to control these conversations and the messages created as a result of them. But the true value of these conversations rests in their authenticity.

60. Markets want to talk to companies.
While consumers can and will carry on these conversations on their own, they really do want to engage with companies. They want to hear a company’s human voice.

89. We have real power and we know it. If you don’t quite see the light, some other outfit will come along that’s more attentive, more interesting, more fun to play with.
Consumers have the power, and companies need to recognize it. Those companies that do will be in a better position to engage with their consumers.


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