Time for All to “Own” Social Media

I’m wading into Quora — the social “influence” network that’s been around for more than a year yet was just discovered by most of the digerati last week — with all the courage of a cliff diver gauging whether the water is deep enough to make the fall worth it.

Despite my professional pedigree and personal love for anything with a screen and power supply, it takes me a while to adopt new services and adapt to new ways of communicating and connecting. It took me two years to give Twitter a shot, and I didn’t even use ATMs until I was assured that my paycheck actually got deposited to my account rather than blasted by a laser.

So far I’ve answered two Quora questions — this one asking “Are Facebook and Twitter the best tools for social media marketing,” and another on “Why are we losing social media to the PR industry?” The “we” in that question never identified himself/herself, though it’s same to assume whomever posed the question is not either in or a fan of the PR business.

My answer to this question is below, as I feel it bears repeating — and hopefully, it will help move us forward to a time when such questions will no longer be necessary.

Why are we losing social media to the PR industry? Perhaps the bigger question is “why should anyone care?”

Social media never “belonged” to any industry — marketing, PR, advertising or otherwise. If anything, social media has made industry disciplines irrelevant. Social media does not exist in silos and therefore cannot be “controlled” by any one communications practice — to believe otherwise is indicative of arrogant legacy thinking rather than a desire to move forward.

Technology enables social media tools, but people make those tools social. And no one owns a cultural shift. Let’s instead spend our time trying to help people connect with each other, provide them information and services that they want, and improve people’s lives as well as corporate bottom lines. Let’s all of us “own” that.

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