The theme of integrating social with digital is so often used and misunderstood. Many people simply think that social is about social media and to them it’s obviously on a digital platform, so to them it is a question about ‘what is all the fuss about?’
The reality is that social has nothing to do with digital, as social is what we are as humans, we are social beings designed to be in community and relate to others. Therefore it is not obvious and a definite strategy of how to integrate social with digital needs to be found.
Gamification of Life
Gamification is the process of allowing people to play with various apps and digital mediums, usually incorporating the use of social media. However the more we study and understand the concept of gamification, we realise that the game needs to be integrated in life itself as opposed to disrupting life. Initial advertising only sort to disrupt life and never to integrate with the needs of people, but this evolved as we learnt to speak with people as opposed to speaking at them.
When social media first arrived, many viewed it as a tool to enhance the programs and apps. Yet when we carefully look and think about social media, it is evident that it is actually the game of life and it is part of the current process of the ‘game of life.’ The evidence for this is if social media was just a tool, it would not integrate into life as seamlessly as it does. Further evidence is that people who participate in their real persona on social media act exactly the same as they do in real life. If they are introverted in life, they are introverted on social media and vice versa. If social media was not seamless with life the human behaviour would be different.
The challenge with integrating social with digital is to get as many people’s thinking within the organisation to engage naturally on social media platforms. Of course this will require a level of transparency and honesty that some may not be willing to embrace. What we must accept is that ‘digital darwinism’ will be a reality for some and they will not evolve with the changing needs of business.
Everyone is a Brand Ambassador
We are all social and it is everyone’s responsibility and opportunity to get with people like them, so that our businesses may become more successful. The old paradigm of only my existing friends and me needs to change, to a more inclusive and social model, where we nurture more significant relationships in our lives, this will ultimately benefit our own lives and the businesses we are involved in. This is what it means to be an integrated social business.