January 11, 2011
There is no medium ... only a moment to connect!
And in each moment, everything we do is done to try and look good (or avoid looking bad). We make ourselves look good by sharing and connecting with others. So we share things that make us look smart, make us look connected, make us look attractive, and make us look "in the know."
Because we are social animals who need to connect, to identify, to find our place and to share common interests. And the spark of that connection revolves around our knowledge, which is so closely tied to our identity. And we when share our knowledge and build relationships with others, it provides a needed level of confidence, to elevate our status and makes us look good. And unlike your psychical bling, you can't "show off" information without giving it away -- which is exactly what people do.
Knowing this now, it should be no surprise why social media is so successful and the reason why you (and most everyone) choose to spend so much time using and consuming it each day.
"Attention is the way social primates (that's us) measure status. It's highly rewarding because it causes the release of brain chemicals such as dopamine and endorphins."
We all want to know:
Who likes me? / Who is like me?
Is everything OK?
How can I become more popular? / Look at how popular I am!
What's new? / What am I missing?
I'm bored; let's make some noise!
It's not a new phenomenon; you can apply it to million-year-old drawings on a cave wall, or modern-day posts on a Facebook wall.
Want more proof? Just examine the mission of the biggest brands in the world today ...
Google's mission is organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful.
Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.
Apple's mission is to make a contribution to the world by making tools for the mind that advance humankind.
So the focus should not be on the medium or the technology, but on the social interaction. Not on "how do we get people to share more?" -- because they already do.
The question you should be asking is, "How do we create incentives to encourage knowledge sharing?"
Then use the power of simplicity and magnetism of social status as it relates to your brand, mission and purpose to ignite an experience for consumers to create, collaborate and play, while blending low tech and high tech ... with high touch and high care.
It will build social bling for you and others, which makes an impact far greater than a new Rolex.