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Social Media not for everyone? Are you kidding?

September 30, 2009

 

Tom Hicks Founding Partner

Tom Hicks Founding Partner

An alternate headline for this article may be “The top six excuses for not embracing social media”

 

If you are reading this, more than likely you already realize that networking, communicating, and gathering information via social media web sites is valuable. You are already ahead of the eight ball; however, my guess is that most people reading this are not giving their involvement and use as serious of a commitment as they should.

What most people don’t get is that not fully embracing and learning as much as possible about this new phenomenon can negatively impact their future business livelihood. I like to call it “soon to be insignificant”.

Keep in mind there are professions and careers that engaging in social media may not be necessary to continue to be successful. An example might be, being the top orthopedic surgeon in your area. But even that individual, by writing blogs on his experiences and helping educate others could use social media to expand his influence, help even more people and gain even more respect if he desired.

It is now widely accepted that the current President of the United States launched a social media campaign with the goal of being elected to the highest office in the country. That one difference in the two campaign strategies probably determined the outcome. I don’t claim to be a social media expert, yet… I am a work in progress, but I do recognize the incredible opportunities. I will take advantage of them.

Due to some of my limited blogging, updates, and connecting I do get people commenting on what I do. But sometimes in casual conversation I hear ridiculous things like the following.

“I just don’t have the time.” – They must think I spend four hours a day working on social media. I probably spend 20 minutes a day on average. However, I think if I could find four hours a day that I could do some productive things on social media I am confident that that would even be time well spent. It’s about priorities! Social Media needs to be moved up on their list of what they choose to spend their time on.

“I don’t want people to find me” – I have actually heard this more than once, usually coming from business people that can benefit greatly by networking with people. They also are typically complaining that their business is way off due to the recession. He has a big home mortgage and two kids in private school. Everything is dome and gloom.

“I did some crazy things in my past and I am worried about my worlds colliding”– First off any well rounded, normal “me included” person has done crazy things in their past. Most likely these so called crazy things are not that bad anyway. Obviously, if you are wanted for crimes that may be reason to stay away from social media, but otherwise these folks are overly paranoid.

“I am already on Facebook and LinkedIn and I haven’t gotten anything from it” – This is just basic marketing and sales 101. I don’t believe that I have to tell experienced marketing people this, but I do. In any marketing, promotions, advertising campaign, YOU HAVE TO COMMITT TO IT AND WORK AT IT, FOR IT TO WORK! I can see why people look at Facebook and be turned off or wonder how saying “Rain Rain go away” is beneficial. Most of these people on Facebook that are posting non useful things will never use Facebook or any other social media tool for anything other than sharing their cute and/or witty thoughts. They are fine with that and I am fine with it. I just think it is short sighted.

“My company doesn’t allow us to use social media and blocks it all from our computers” Who do you work for? Do they also have you on video constantly and spy on you at your house? My suggestion might be to consider a career change. Businesses and firms that do not see the value as well as the potential trouble that can arise for them my ignoring social media are treading on dangerous waters. However, I can see that many employees can waste time on it and not be fulfilling their work related duties. If this is so and you are the type to ignore your job duties by spending all day on Facebook doing nothing productive, more than likely you will be looking for another job in the near future. Until you change your habits and focus, you will never be a valuable employee. If you know so much about it and then provide some value to your firm by showing the “powers at be” how it can be valuable to the firm.

“My business doesn’t work that way and my clients wouldn’t like it” Again if you are a professional hit man you may have a point. What this person doesn’t understand is that most of his or her clients are connecting with possible competitors on social media and there is probably a strong risk that some of his clients will be lost.

Some other things that I have learned is that even though the younger generations are much more tech savvy and computer literate, they do not get the power of social media either. They use it like crazy to keep up with friends, but many of them have no clue as to how to maximize it to use it to improve their lives and advance their businesses or careers in a tactful, meaningful and professional way. Not only that, but there is this rebellious feeling that some people have that “anyone using social media for any type of personal gain is evil”. I’ll be the first to say how annoying it is to get bombarded with someone pushing their marketing at me via social media 24/7. I normally hide them. There is a right way to do it and a wrong way. The masses will provide the feedback by responding favorably or unfavorably.

This blog is about learning to make social media become a powerful tool in your life, whatever your goals are. Whether your goals are to make money, launch a charitable cause, make people aware of important issues, grow a business or anything else that is important in your life. The tools are out there if you choose to use them.

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