Thursday, May 12, 2011

If you are anti-Social you will probably poo-poo Social Media

My friends and people I know and don’t know tell me all the time, “I don’t get Foursquare,” or, “I won’t waste my time on Facebook.” And I know there are cavernous voids in many people’s brains about Twitter and LinkIn and more. Unless you are like me and have learned what they are about, people simply don’t know what they don’t know about all of these “social platforms.”
Think of these platforms like walking into a room. If you walk into the Facebook room you are going to “see and hear” the friends whom you have accepted. You will get invitations and see pictures of them riding their bikes along the lake and you can also share whatever you like with them, including what restaurants you’ve been to and the charities that you are associated with. Over time you will know what to expect from each friend and they will get to know what you like presenting to them and if you like responding to their information. Are you are a church person? Do you play online games and like to interact with other gamers?
Twitter is like walking into the conversation room. There is much dialogue and information being furiously passed across the room. And the room for business conversations & connections is LinkIn. But every single platform has one thing in common: they are all social.
It’s not the unknown part of using social media that makes people pause from becoming participants; it’s the social part that intimidates. I’ve given up training my friends in social media because I find that everyone wants to put out information to prospective clients over social media platforms—but they don’t want to receive any input, invitations, requests or information from others. The social media specialists, like me, who have been using Twitter, Foursquare, Yelp, CitySearch etc. know thousands of people and have many connections. Who wouldn’t want to promote their restaurant, church, charity, political thoughts to thousands of people who might support their individual endeavors? The problem is that for you to put out your information into the room or conversation, you have to participate and “speak” as well as listen—people have to learn that you are here to stay and that you or you business has integrity--and you have to be willing to take the conversation offline as soon as possible.
The cardinal rule for any Social Media Specialist is to “take it offline” as soon as possible. Social is the first word and that’s exactly what we must try to do: We meet each other after our initial conversation in that room full of others, and it is offline where we learn how much we have in common and how much we can help each other. And, let me tell you, you will meet your new best friends whom you have the most things in common with. People may meet through a media platform by common interests and the relationships that are gained can nurture a business or a cause. Social Media is just a new way of taping into your community to mingle, prosper, help, create and change the world but it’s still about people. So, it’s really about connecting with people you’ve been trying to attract to you and that sounds personal and professional and very wise to me.
go to to continue the “conversation.”

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