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I was working on the FAQ’s for our website the other day, and I wanted to begin with the basics, explaining what Social Media is.  So, I went online to explore.  There are many different definitions, but here is where I netted out:

Social Media facilitates communication in the form of social interaction and generates discussion/interactive dialogue by using various technology and tools available online to make sharing information easy.

Distilled down simply, the key words are “accessible” and “easy”.

I was very excited by this, because part of the exercise of establishing a new product or Brand is getting people to understand what it is. So, you frame your product/Brand in the context of a competitive set.  Even if it is completely different, it has to be easily recognized or categorized otherwise the task of educating your customers on what the product is consumes all of your resources.

Once your consumer understands the product concept, i.e. after you have worked to established that it’s a cola, like Pepsi, you have to highlight what makes it different, better, unique so it can stand out and your target users can easily appreciate why this is the better choice for them.

In our case, we described mononews as a newswire service, because our target audience knows and understands that this is a service that delivers press releases to reporters on their behalf.  But “newswire” is old school, antiquated technology (sort of akin to calling a hard copy collection of songs an “album” rather than a CD).  So newswire puts us in a comprehensible context.

But once there, similar to many new product launch situations, the existing competition is well established, well-known and well resourced.

Now, back to why I was excited.  Discovering that Social Media comes down to “accessible” and “easy” validated that our product offering is right on the mark!  And are important key points of difference for us.

It’s one of the “aha” moments in the Marketing cycle of a product when you get to celebrate that you had it right!