I think the question first must be asked – what’s a Social Entrepreneur?
Commonly, a Social Entrepreneur is defined in the following manner:
Social entrepreneurship is the work of a social entrepreneur. A social entrepreneur is someone who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change. Whereas a business entrepreneur typically measures performance in profit and return, a social entrepreneur assesses success in terms of the impact s/he has on society. While social entrepreneurs often work through nonprofits and citizen groups, many work in the private and governmental sectors.
Increasingly I think this term has been flipped around – instead focusing on Entrepreneurs who are social – and now Social Media experts who are entrepreneurs. With every new technological, business or entrepreneurial development, the experts and early adopters are sure to appear shortly thereafter. Social media is no exception. As the technologies and other available networks and tools continue to spring up all over, social entrepreneurs are out there testing the waters, finding out what works and what doesn’t. While the world of social media may seem impossibly complicated or involved, watching the actions of these social entrepreneurs, whether successful or not, can impart valuable lessons to anyone interested in jumping in to social media or perhaps becoming a social entrepreneur himself. While the lessons to be gained from analyzing the actions of social entrepreneurs are many, following are a few basic principles that all social entrepreneurs follow. These actions can be applied to social entrepreneurs in both the traditional and modern sense-
Take Risks: Social media is new, and social entrepreneurs are applying limited knowledge to their ventures. No matter how successful one is in the offline world, the social media explosion has put everyone back to square one when it comes to strategies ad techniques. Because of this, social entrepreneurs are essentially trying untested and unproven strategies and hoping for positive results. With no case histories to go on, everything a social entrepreneur tries is essentially a risk. Sometimes it pays off, and sometimes it doesn’t, but risks are necessary in mastering new media tools like social media networks.
Take Advantage: If there is anything social entrepreneurs know how to do, it is how to take advantage of the tools available. Not only do they push social media networks to their limit with new techniques and marketing strategies, but they also make use of the networks and contacts they have made. Whether asking for opinions or information, forming partnerships on projects or ventures, or any number of other applications, social entrepreneurs know how use all the tools at their disposal. Not only do social entrepreneurs create massive networks, they know how to use them.
Take Care: No news travels more quickly than bad news, and when it comes to social networks, you can double the speed of the spread. Social entrepreneurs know how important it is to carefully evaluate what they say as well as how they present themselves in the social media arena. While recovered from a misstep is possible, it is easier to be careful and have nothing to apologize for. Social entrepreneurs are successful because along with all the risk taking and socializing, they are careful to manage their words and messages.
Click here to learn more about America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs
Click here to learn more about 10 Social Media people you should follow on Twitter
Have you seen an social entrepreneurs taking advantage of the social media tools available? Have you seen any social media entrepreneurs branching out into charitable or social entrepreneurial endeavors? I’d love to see some examples of crossover here.