Chris Brogan recently wrote a quite frankly epic blog post; “Social Media Isn’t Dead: It’s Boring“. Firstly, Chris wins by writing a gripping headline. But ultimately he wins because most people think he’s a “social media guy”…and he thus teaches them a valuable lesson. So this got me thinking…most people who know me think that I’m a “social media guy”.
I’m not. I do utilise social media, and advise clients on how to best utilise social media. But my role does not begin, end, or really even mostly consist of “social media advice”. In much the same way that a builder doesn’t spend all his time talking about his hammer, I don’t spend all my time talking about social media. Why? BECAUSE THEY ARE JUST TOOLS! Or, as Jason Falls suitably describes them, ENABLERS. They enable us, as professionals and businesses, to connect, communicate and add-value with our customers and communities.
Imagine if a builder spent all his time talking about a hammer and a wrench. How incredibly boring and pointless would that be?! Would you hire that builder? I certainly would not.
Social Media Is Boring.
Social Media in and of themselves are boring and quite pointless. They are just websites. The only reason people are so fascinated by them is that they are 99% operated and filled by other people! On a personal level, why do you use Facebook? Is it because “it’s Facebook” or because your friends and family use it and you can keep in touch with them? Exactly. Your business to customer social relationships rest similar reasons. Human reasons, not technological ones. (N.B. your customers aren’t active on social media just to keep in touch with your business. They are there for entertainment, friends, family etc. Don’t disrupt that experience, enhance it.)
So next time you want to be trained on how to use Twitter or Facebook etc, think about it. All you’re paying for is to learn how to push buttons in order to talk to people. How boring. Would you pay someone to show you how to dial a phone number on a phone and then talk into it? Exactly.
Think of it this way: social media are tactics. Football teams have tactics, but they also consist of so much more, right? Could Sir Alex Ferguson have achieved all that he has by focusing 100% of his efforts on matchday tactics alone? No.
How to “De-Bore” The Whole Situation
- Realise that social media merely exist to enable us, as HUMANS, to share and engage with each other. Any conversation, online or offline, must have enough substance to keep at least two people engaged. For businesses, and business professionals, this is called your STORY… not your latest status update or tweet.
- Don’t hire a spare pair of hands to “manage” your companies social media usage. They have no sense of ownership or culture. They are looking for a pay check. If your social media usage has become a separate department or thought in the business, you have failed. Instead, I advise hiring a consultant to guide you…especially as it sounds like you need it.
- Think long term. Think bigger picture. Social Media are hugely boring when people use them in the same manner as cold calling. “Post. Hang up. Post. Hang up. Post…” you get the picture. Your business is on going, therefore your communications tools, and reasons for using them, are too. Understand what it is your business and customers want to achieve. Then just plug in the social media when, where, and how they suit best…and keep it going until the return on utilisation begins to dwindle. The review, rewire, and re-launch.
Social Media are boring. What isn’t boring is your businesses vision, your employees, your customers, your story…. these are the factors that make Social Business amazing. These are the factors that should feature most heavily in any and every plan…including a social media strategy. Social Media are there to help, that’s it.
We don’t rely on social media. Social Media rely on us. Social Media are boring. We are AWESOME!
I hope I haven’t bored you?
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