One of the things that's always struck me about social media is the level of sharing that occurs on the many networks, sites, blogs, etc.
I'm not talking about the ceaseless flow of status updates, geographical show & tells, or video postings. I mean how willing we are as professionals to be completely candid about our work in very public areas, and how open we are about sharing our successes, failures and lessons.
While those mired in the old way of doing things bristle at the idea of giving away information, the savvy marketer knows that in the current search-heavy environment, customers don't necessarily care where they get information from; they just want it. And the company that provides the information without restriction is the one that will command attention. Chris Brogan cleverly refers to this dichotomy as Gatekeepers vs. Gatejumpers.
Gate Jumping in Michigan
When I announced my intention of moving to Detroit to join the automotive industry, I was greeted with open arms by my counterparts at GM. Christopher Barger and his able team leading social media efforts there were very excited about having another social media colleague in the area.
We all agreed that rather than being in direct competition, GM and Ford could benefit from the collective brainpower that social media would bring to the area. Because we've both been busy with a number of work-related commitments, Chris and I didn't get to meet up for dinner until I was nearly 8 weeks into my job, but we both reaffirmed our commitment to the industry as well as to our respective companies.
We noted that we should think of this as "co-opetition" - a mash-up of cooperation and competition. While we'll be competing for vehicle sales, we'll also be able to advance the auto industry in the social media space.
And speaking of co-opetition, here's Ford's gesture to GM on its 100th anniversary today:
This is the kind of corporate magnanimity that makes be proud to be associated with Ford Motor Company. Happy anniversary to my friends at GM. May our companies continue working together throughout the next 100 years.
Photo credits: buglug (top) Ford Motor Company (bottom)