As a marketing consultant and social media marketing specialist, I hear the frustrations from small business owners and friends struggling to keep up with social media sites like Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Google+ more often than most. They ask me, do I really need all this “stuff” or can I just go back to what life was like before I ever created a profile account? It is not that they do not wish to help their business or that they don’t appreciate the contacts and friends they have made on and offline, but they are struggling with time management and have targeted social media to be the cause of all their frustration.
Social Media is like the invention of the phone. For those of you who watch the TV show “Downton Abbey” you may remember the episode in which they installed phones into Downton Abbey. Mr. Carson, the head butler, was very unhappy and didn’t understand why a phone was needed. He struggled with how to use it and since he was in charge of the entire staff he worried how it would look if he couldn’t keep up with those who used the phone easily. This is how many are still feeling about Social Media. They are the CEO’s of their business and have accomplished so much, but now they are being asked to learn how to use this communication tool to benefit their business and to connect with family and friends. They may have been reluctant to set-up accounts and had employees or interns handle the social media marketing within the company. And, because they have never really actively participated with online communications, they have not understood the true impact it can have to help their business.
Social Media, like the phone, is a tool for communication. This tool, unlike the phone today where many use caller ID to screen calls or request to be on a “Don’t Call List”, is the one that more people are using to communicate. For the businesses who have taken the time to learn and understand the best uses of the social media tool, they often get the best results. So, like Mr. Carson in the TV show “Downton Abbey” who had to overcome his frustrations and fear with the new telephone, your business and your personal life has the opportunity to embrace this communication tool and allow it to enhance your business and life.
Finally, I leave you with this, my 84 year old mother who has never had a computer or a cell phone finally gave in to allowing me to set-up a Facebook account on an iPad for her in December. Within days she was posting to family members and enjoying the photos and updates about her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She searched online for friends she had lost touch with and found a few. Did she make a couple of mistakes along the way? Of course, we all do. Just like when you try to transfer a call on the phone and the line gets disconnected, you will make a few mistakes, but that is how you learn. My Mom learned yesterday that the abbreviated LOL she was posting means “Laugh Out Loud” and not “Lots of Love” as she had thought. No harm done, but it gave us something to laugh about. If you or your business would like to have a one-on-one coaching session on how to get the most from Social Media or help with setting-up accounts and understanding how to navigate the sites, please give Purple Diamond or another social media marketer a call.