First, pat yourself on the back. You’ve secured a job in new media. The best part? You’ll be doing the same thing humans have been doing for thousands of years, but in new and exciting ways. That’s why there’s a “new” in “new media.”
Centuries ago it was stories around the campfire and writing on the cave wall, today it’s pictures and posts on Facebook and clever 140 character quips on Twitter.
The common thread?
We’re sharing. We’ve always shared. It’s what humans do. Central to the act of sharing is communication – people need to understand one another to share, after all – and the bond that sharing creates: a relationship.
Some of these relationships are strong – like the bond you form with your family after growing up with them. Other relationships, like the one you form after RTing some random person’s thoughts on Twitter, are not.
If you’re in new media chances are you’re trying to grow your brand and create a buyer-seller relationship, or convince people you’re right and create a cause-supporter relationship.
And that’s what all of these newfangled devices, web services, and social networks do for us: they help us communicate, share, and form relationships.
But one Tweet, one Facebook post, one email, or one ad isn’t going to form a strong relationship or help you achieve your goal.
They’re new and useful tools, but they haven’t replaced our old tools.
While engaging individuals through new media can help you reach new demographics, it’s only one of several valuable tools at your disposal: picking up the phone or meeting in person are just as important.
In economics, markets with low entry barriers have a lot of players and thus lower profit margins. Likewise, the barriers to entry for Facebook and Twitter are low, there are a lot of players, lower profit margins, and weaker relationships.
Only sustained engagement with a consistent message through as many mediums and on as many platforms as possible – both online and offline – can help you reach your goal.