If you are bit by a Rattlesnake you should (fill in the blank)

I constructed the comment below in response to a blog posting< within LinkedIn by Pete Hollier, SEM/SEO Consultant who had asked: “Is Social Media really Complex?” I felt that my response communicated JUST the right sentiment, so I am reposting it here for your constructive criticism.

Social Media is absolutely simple, often resembling the earliest form of communications – word of mouth. Stories carried on the lips of the old and passed on to the ears of the young.

Consider the thought that “if someone is bitten by a rattlesnake, you should attempt to suck the venom out of the wound” Now this is a statement that may have been communicated as far back as ancient Egypt. Think of how you first heard of it. Someone told you this, and what did you do? You probably went to confirm it with your mother or father, or possibly a friend to ensure that it was true.
After all, it sounds like an awkward thing to do, sucking the venom out, but once you validated the information with others, you were more confident in the authority of the source.
Social Media is a way to provide consumers with a way to “validate the authority of the source” on whether the product claims are true!

First Consider… “Does the soft cloth pickup 20oz of fluid?” You can either:

1. Trust that the marketing claim is true.. and purchase the soft cloth;
2. Ask one of your friends whether or not the marketing claim is true;
3. Go online to find an authority who can assure the validity of the claim.

Social Media helps to speed the decision to purchase. If the marketing claim is judged to be truthful and honest, the move to purchase is strengthened. If the marketing claim is judged to be false… Beware, they may not only not purchase your product, they may be the first ones to comment negatively about it within the context of Social Media.

Many times, this is a key reason for corporations not to engage in Social Media. They want uninformed, zombie “sheeple” to believe their marketing claims regardless of their voracity. AND they don’t want anyone to tell them that their “baby is ugly”!!
From the core context of communication, Social Media is very simple, however, the implementation and demonstration of value proposition can be incredibly complex.

What are your thoughts?

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