Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The Delaware Social Media Initiative - We can do this!
We have an opportunity before us to make this state and region the single most attractive location for businesses, entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, educators, and, well, everybody - while growing our communities and enjoying unprecedented success.
We can make Delaware the single largest social media state in the country.
Here's the basic concept:
WHAT: Growing Delaware's Social Media usage exponentially throughout 2010 - engaging people involved in every aspect of life:
- Finance Industry
- Service Industry
- Bio/Pharma Industry
- Information Technology
- Non-Profit Community
- Charitable Organizations
- Faith Community
- Auto Industry
- Environmental Organizations
- …And More…
WHO: Everyone who lives, works, plays, or prays in Delaware
HOW: Using a variety of social media tools - LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter, etc. to actively promote Delaware businesses, events, charities, ideas, and individuals.
WHY: By having everyone from CEOs to artists to teachers to high school students to caterers to Blue Rocks players to history buffs and everyone in between engaged and amplifying each others' messages, we achieve two things - First, greater awareness, support, and cooperation in the state leading to shared success in all sectors and all regions. Second, all of this transparent, open activity will act as a magnet attracting entrepreneurs, investors, artists, businesses, and creative teams from all over the world to Delaware (literally and virtually).
OK, that's the basic concept in a nutshell. If you've experienced the power of social media firsthand, then there's probably a light bulb (energy efficient, of course) shining brightly over your head right now and you're already leap-frogging ahead of me (which I encourage, more on that later).
If, however, you've not yet engaged in social media, done so in a very limited fashion, or just haven't had your first “Wow - I can't believe I just connected with that customer/collaborator/ceo/celebrity/writer/expert…” moment yet - then I need to share a little more about this concept to help you see the vision.
First Principle: YOU can reach EVERYBODY - by engaging in social media, you can create your own vibrant network to communicate with key people and spread your message to a large audience. What does this mean in real life? It means that if you want to let everyone know abut an important charity event, or your friends' new business venture, or encourage people to contact their local elected official about a new road being proposed by your neighborhood, or even something as simple as sharing your thoughts about a great book you just read, you don't have to take out an ad, you just put the message out there.
Second Principle: YOU can listen to everybody that matters - If you don't have anything to share, that's OK, sit back and listen (or, to be more accurate, read). You will know more about everything that interests you and be exposed to new events, concepts, ideas, products, groups, and individuals.
Third Principle: It's all about open communication, community, and transparency - You can have a simple conversation with someone in social media about your favorite book, business, cause, organization, or whatever and quickly find that the author, CEO, leader of the cause is joining in the conversation and thanking you for your comments. This is the world in which we live, embrace the possibilities!
Fourth Principle: Traditional Media IS engaged - Virtually every radio station and newspaper in Delaware (as well as national news organizations) is fully engaged in social media, reporters and editors are not only paying attention to what's being posted, but will also ask questions about news tips, experts, and opinions - if you are not engaged in social media then you are missing one of the most effective methods of communicating your message to a very large audience.
Now, back to those of you who are already jumping ahead with this concept. I encourage you to take this as far as you can! Go, blaze the new trails, show all of us what is possible. Create new web sites and applications. We are on the border of the wild frontier that is Social Media - the potential is limitless and there's room for all of us to learn and grow together.
Finally, I encourage all of us to embrace the 12-to-1 ratio rule (note: I'm stealing this rule from Chris Brogan, I don't think he'll mind) - for every ONE message you produce promoting your business/brand/non-profit/cause/etc., produce TWELVE that promote other Delaware businesses/brands/non-profits/causes/etc.
Friends, we can do this! You can create and grow your own network, encourage others in the area to do the same thing, and grow the number of opportunities for all of us exponentially. Let's make history together!