I was thrilled to discover the flight I’m on today has wifi available, and quickly whipped out my iPad to log into my social networks. I got a strange feeling someone was peaking over my shoulder and then when I noticed the woman next to me glance over, watching me browse through Facebook messages. I got a weird feeling of embarrassment and felt the need to explain that I work in this industry and help companies use these tools to build their business. I wanted her to know that I was doing worthy and noble work! She needed to know.
I could almost hear the smug comments she was thinking: “What valuable information could possibly be shared there and how can they fill pages and pages with it? What a waste of time. I just don’t get it!”
I readjusted my iPad so she could not see my screen (as if she really cared).
She reached into her bag and pulled out a stack of magazines titled “Quilters World.” I looked over smugly and thought, “What valuable information could possibly be shared there and how can they fill pages and pages with it? What a waste of time…I just don’t get it.”
I opened up WordPress to begin blogging and thought…”At least I’m creating something lasting!” ; )
Yesterday I was speaking at a conference in San Diego and as I was packing everything up, a woman came up, with a very distressed look on her face, as she asked, “Do I need to be on EVERY social media site? I mean who has the time?”
I get this question so often by folks who are not using social management tools to control the “flow” (TweetDeck, Hootsuite, etc) or from those who still see these tools as just a big bunch of people blathering about their cats playing on their iPads and other useless information. I recorded a short video (below) for a friend who sent me a Facebook message asking about Pinterest specifically, and wanted to know if she should waste her time checking out a social newbie site that has no bearing on her industry.
Keep in mind, what might not be a big deal in your industry today, could turn out to be a power tool in six months. (who could have guessed businesses would be creating Facebook pages alongside college students 5 years ago?) Do you want to be a thought leader, bringing your team information on what you know about it, or the one in the back whining about having to learn it from scratch? (Whiners don’t answer that!)
I look at new tech trends and tools as an experimental playground of tech goodness!
Log into a new service, create an account and push some buttons, read what others are saying and don’t feel pressured to contribute or participate beyond that. Look around on Pinterest without liking, or repinning anything on your own boards (I dare you to try and resist!), sign on to GetGlue when watching your favorite television show and see what others are saying about it. Then quietly close the social door. The party will go on without you, and you will either be intrigued to peek a little ore or simply have some basic knowledge of how people are using that tool. Who knows, you just might see a connection to your business or meet new and wonderful friends!
Come on into the playground… The people are very friendly.