Outlaw the phrase "Social Media" at work

I write about strategies to turn fans into customers and customers into fans. I also share ways to use real-time strategies to spread ideas, influence minds, and build business.

When I speak with executives around the world about social media and business, many think of their kids' (or grandkids') Facebook or the Twitter silliness they hear about on television.

Frequently, executives come to the conclusion that social media are frivolous at best and a dangerous time-waster at worst. Once they have that in their mind, it is tough to convince them otherwise.

It's not social media. It's real-time media.

In order to scale social, I recommend that we stop using the word "social" and instead substitute "real-time".

When I ask to the same executives about "real-time communications with customers" they lean forward and want to know more. These are the same people who dismiss Twitter.

When I talk about "real-time media" they understand that it is important for their business.

What are people doing on your site right now? Has someone just praised you on Facebook? Panned you on Twitter? Published a how-to video about your product on YouTube? Is there a mainstream media report out about your company?

Executives understand real-time media and are eager to implement the ideas.

If you're having trouble convincing the bosses about the value of social media as communications tools, why not try my semantics trick and discuss real-time media instead? Let me know how it goes.

What say you?