Social Sharing: Important Trend or Evil Plan to Take My Crown?

“I’m watching Biggest Loser.  I joined a local kickboxing class this week and will try to lose weight with these contestants!”

“Eating at my favorite deli for lunch- the best egg salad sandwiches in the world!”

“Anything by SEAL is a favorite song”

Technology expert, social media for businessPeople want to share their life experiences with other people.  Whether they know each other or not, they feel someone else out there wants to know this information.

We want to connect with others and new technology tools are allowing us to do that.  We can find people who like the same music we like, who go to the same places we go and even those who are reading the same books we are reading or television shows we are watching.

Initially you may not see the purpose in all this social sharing, but it is a trend that continues to grow.  A trend we cannot ignore.  Sites like GetGlue are allowing people to rate movies, books, artists, TV shows and more.  Fans comment and you earn stickers for “checking in” and can be elevated to GURU status if you can answer questions on the particular show or topic.  The game-like concept fires up my competitive juices.  Who doesn’t want to be THE OFFICE guru?

If you are familiar with Pandora Radio, you may have noticed that while one of your favorite songs is playing, you will occasionally see the face of one of your Facebook friends who shared that this is also one of their favorites.  We have the ability to search for and connect with others who like the same music we do.

We can even share how our weight loss plan is going with the Tweeting Scale.  When you step onto this smart scale (or idiotic-blabber-mouth scale) it will upload the data to your computer or mobile device, and if you’d like, it will send a tweet telling the world how much you have gained or lost.  WHY?  WHY would someone want to share this kind of information?  Because we are social!  Because more and more, people are looking for ways to find and connect with their tribes, their posse, their peeps!  Before you shake your head and shrug off this strange behavior, let me ask you to consider this “case-study.”

On Foursquare, one of the geo-location sites I wrote about last week, I began checking in here and there just to learn more about it, but really didn’t see why people were going through the trouble… until I became the “Mayor” of my daughter’s high school.  The surge of power became more than I should have been allowed to handle.

I was then checking in everywhere trying to see where else I could dominate.  Two days after my first Mayoral appointment, I got wind of a dad who dethrowned me.  Who was this man who ripped my crown from my head?  How did I let this happen?  I went to work.  I checked in every time I dropped the Schrecklet off for summer sports conditioning and within a week I was Mayor Schreck once again.

This GAME engaged me.  It caused me to take action.  It caused me to go a little crazy, but I have hopes that my title will somehow help the Schrecklet during her freshman year!   When the surges of testosterone subsided, creativity started to flow.  I started to explore other ways we can use these game-like tools to engage our community, our audiences, or our customers.  How can I get my customers to GO MAD trying to learn new bits of information as they earn points or stickers?  How can you get your customers to fight over who gets to be KING or QUEEN of your business, if only for the day?  Can you invite your community to share knowledge with one another?

Instead of shying away from these sites, log on and start playing.  How will these new tools and trends shape your business?  How can you tap the power they have to engage and turn customers into RAGING FANS (Ah Perhaps this is an idea for a follow up book to Ken Blanchard’s RAVING FANS. )  If we study the trend in Social Sharing, we will discover ways to tap this wave and get on board!

Happy Sharing~