The real value of social media

What is the value of social media?

It’s a kind of abstract question that comes up in corporate discussions. But here’s a really practical demonstration of the value of social media, on a simple level.

Our mate Aidan had a flat car battery. He doesn’t have an AA membership, but he does have Twitter. Our other mate Rachel had jumper leads and a car. Problem, meet solution!

Sounds simple, but it sums up everything that’s possible with the loose kind of community that social media allows.

Sometimes people worry that online social networking is making us less social, less connected to the real world around us. The evidence points to the opposite.


(If you are interested in the harder business measures around social media, check out my presentation on social media measurement at Social Media Club Auckland)

6 thoughts on “The real value of social media

  • Rachel Ah Kit

    #justaskforhelp – the Twitterverse is full of people ready to answer the call!

    • Simon Young

      Rachel, you are a beautiful human being! 🙂

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  • JS

    WHAT? This makes no sense at all, who cares if Aiden has twitter, or if Rachel has jumpers and a car. What is Aiden going to tweet that his car won’t start and he needs a jump. Then Rachel (who knows where she is or what her priorities are) will tweet Aiden back and then drive through the city to provide the jump? This example of social media doesn’t even work as an analogy nor a real life example…sorry to break it to ya, but it’s true.

    Aiden, my brother, if your car won’t start hail the first car you see driving by and they will boost you with a smile. Works in Canada…might work in the states, you should try it.

    • Simon Young

      Hey Jonathan, thanks for your comment. You say this doesn’t work as a real life example – well, sorry, but it IS a real life example. This actually happened.

      As for hailing a car, might happen in Canada. Might not happen in New Zealand. In an idealised world where everyone is nice to strangers, it may happen. In the real world, strangers often don’t help each other. That’s why social media is interesting – it creates a level of relationship and awareness that’s a bit like what we used to call “neighbours”.

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