In part one of this series of posts we explained how despite myths to the contrary, old folks can really hang ten when it comes to surfing the waves of social media. At least when it comes to business application.
After all, we can rip curls in the area of rapidly building an effective social media network. This is because we’ve got the contacts others crave and the knowledge, experience and influence to quickly grow a following.
So why are us old geezers so terrified to wax our boards and head out into the water?
Of course, the fact you’re reading this may mean we’re preaching to a digital choir. But if you or someone you know still “doesn’t get” the Facebook, Twitter & Blogging craze, here are some answers to the top three objections. (You may have to print this out and fax it to your Land of the Lost friends.)
It’s A Waste Of Time
All myths are based on at least a fraction of truth, and sometimes they are based on a ton of truth, as is the case here. If you don’t approach social media with a specific strategy as well as a heavy dose of discipline, you will be pulled completely into a time vortex where there may be no escape. Fortunately, all those time management books and classes you took throughout your storied career should give you an edge. In fact, social media can accelerate the networking process to a point where you can build business relationships in a fraction of the time it used to take.
I know. People have lied to us before. We were promised that e-mail would be a huge timesaver. The snake oil claim was it would allow us to communicate more efficiently. It did. The problem is it allowed everyone else to communicate more efficiently as well, including the guy selling discount pills.
What makes social networking different is that you have more ability to manage your contacts. This will allow you to maximize the effectiveness of your online interactions.
It Will Strip Us Of All Humanity
You hear all types of variations of the “we’ll become robots” rationale. What about the personal touch? Shouldn’t we be meeting with people one-on-one and developing genuine relationships?
The answer to these questions are “absolutely yes.” But, what will your Starbuck’s bill look like if you have coffee dates each day with 600 of your best friends and most influential clients? Remember, people protested similarly when Alexander Graham Bell invented that relationship sapping device called the telephone.
The truth is that when used properly, social media will augment the depth of your personal relationships. You’ll learn more about people you barely know, and develop warmer relationships with those you want to know better. Finally, you’ll keep your closest friends and clients top of mind, so they don’t lose interest in you and begin hanging out with your hipper competitors.
There’s No Measurable ROI (Return On Investment)
From a business perspective, measuring ROI of social media is about as easy as fishing with your bare hands. It’s also a bit of a slow boil and we all know what happens when you stare at a tea kettle.
We counsel people that it will typically take a year to obtain real measurable business value from your social networking efforts. The truth is, the initial fruit will appear rapidly, but we know a cynic is slow to impress. If you approach it with an open mind, you’ll see an opportunity to get your message out in a powerful and consistent way.
Regardless. Kicking, screaming, dragged by the hair, whatever it takes to get you jumping in with both feet will benefit you greatly. The old public relations model is dead and if you’re not talking about your company, no one else will be. (Or they may be and you won’t like what they are saying).
So don’t delay. The water is warm. Come on in.