Great post today from Mitch Joel on building community around your content. If you’re not in the social media sphere, though, that sentence alone sounds like inside baseball. Let me see if I can translate myself into plain English.
Whatever your organization, it’s critical to differentiate yourself from your competitors. We all have competitors — and the Internet has only opened those doors wider. Even local monopoly-like organizations [like an industry association or certain nonprofits, for instance] now have to compete for time and attention with resources the Internet brings to our doorsteps.
For many of us, sharing our insights online becomes a differentiating factor. The transparency and accessibility that social media gives you multiplies your presence. You can have the reach of a larger organization, even if you’re just one person.
But if your customers are taking advantage of the Internet and social media, you can also experience the opposite effect — you are drowned out by the onslaught of sheer volume. It doesn’t even have to be your direct competitors. Anyone, anything that takes your customers away from you is competition.
That’s where Mitch’s insights come in. If you’re using the web today to talk to your audience, you have to understand better than they do how they use the Internet.