Take a Photo, Share a Story!

    Social Media allows people, celebrities and companies to do so much to reach friends, fans, and consumers. As I often talk about, I believe that social media is the human extension of any brand, company, and celebrity. One of the cool features of social media that Brian Solis highlights in Chapter 6 in his book, Engage; The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web is the power of photo sharing. “Online photo sharing encourages views and interaction around images, transforming pictures into social objects.” (Solis 2011) There are certain stories that a photo can tell with a small caption that a speech or televised message could never get tell. Ever been on Facebook on a Sunday when everyone is coming down from the fun filled weekend? I have. Just by photos you can tell what club your friends went to, what they had to drink and even if they cut a rug or two on the dance floor.

It’s the same concept with companies and brands. Chapter 6 also dealt with networks and audiences. Smart companies know who their niche audience is and what networks they are a part of. Solis adds, “As pictures, as well as all forms of media, are social objects, the advantages that result from extended interaction and visibility far outweigh controlled distribution.”  There is a certain power that pictures have that no other form of media has. Pictures are so much easier to share and send. Solis draws examples from seeing pictures of CEOs and executives attending company fundraisers and parties. Seeing those kinds of pictures also help humanize the company which a lot of company’s lack these days.

In addition to pictures knowing how to get people to look at and share your pictures in key. Solis talks about social networks for social media networks also known as a social dashboard. Solis defines social dashboard as “a dedicated microsite either within an existing corporate website or hosted at a dedicated URL that aggregates the disparate corporate social profiles and media – presenting them in one visually rich, easy-to-navigate destination that promotes outside connectivity and onsite interaction.” I do have personal experience with social dashboards phenomenon. There was a site called Meebo and allowed me to connect to all my instant messengers at once. There was a time when I had a Facebook, Myspace, Skype, Yahoo Messenger, and America Online Instant Messenger. My computer became so slow trying to jumpstart every messaging system when I would boot it up. When I found Meebo, it allowed me to do it online and erase the messengers I installed that was slowing down my computer.

Once again I learned a lot from reading chapter 6 and 7. Solis has a way of making me see myself in what he says and gives practical tools that I can put into use right now!

-Orlando P. Bailey

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