What is Social Media? "I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train." The Importance of Being Earnest. Oscar Wilde

I have just bought a new mountain bike and have spending some time on the back trails.  This time always gives rise to thinking and new ideas as I ponder some of the deeper questions in life. Recently I was thinking about: What is Social Media?  I was thinking about this because of a forthcoming book on social media branding that I have been writing as well as papers with colleagues like Inna Piven and Mike Breazeale.

We know social media is lots of things. It is us and our communities and collectives.  As written in the 5-Sources Model of Social Media Branding, it is like a mirror of ourselves. Often a place of personal reflection.  In this model SOURCE 3: SELF-ORIENTED SOCIAL MEDIA BRAND. Brands are a key part of that self-oriented actualization.

The key question for marketers is how you introduce a brand into that personal space without intrusion. So, be careful. This is a sensitive place. An example of this is when U2 tried to give away their new Album through iTunes. Free. iTunes essentially being part of social media. There was a huge negative reaction.  So, it takes time and will not come through traditional pushy marketing.

So, here is my story about Santa Cruz and my SOURCE 3: SELF-ORIENTED SOCIAL MEDIA BRAND. This brand is now part of my social media and will be for the rest of my life. The first question is why? Well, mountain biking is part of my fabric. It is what I do and love. It forms many important relationships that I will always be bonded to. Second, how? I had always been a Cannondale biker. I will always love these bikes but this time I wanted a change. So, hence I shifted to Santa Cruz and bought a thing of beauty. Bronson Carbon 2015. The brand got into my space because I created an open door. Most of all the entry criteria was that that brand had to reflect my mountain biking past and future. That is pretty heavy and a tall order for a brand. Hard to explain but the brand needed to match those experiences but take me into the future. It is doing that and that is cool. Also happy to finally get some trail respect and have my ego boosted for a few weeks by fellow bikers respecting the 2015 technology on these bikes.

My closing thought is that social media is a bit like your diary or scrapbook. Forever these ways of communicating with ourselves and others have been an important part of reflection. With social media though, the diary is open.

“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.” The Importance of Being Earnest.  Oscar Wilde




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