I am no spring chicken and every fibre of me rebels against social media. Just call me ‘old school’, so what social media activities like Facebook and Twitter posting I have done so far I have done out of a business obligation rather than because I had seen the light.
Indeed, I recently returned to good old fashioned personal networking in order to broaden my contacts after a change of course into marketing online services to bricks and mortar businesses. There is clearly lots of potential here, much in the vein of Russell Conwell’s ‘Acres of Diamonds’.
So strangely it was as a result of old style personal networking event today, courtesy of 4Networking, that I have, at last, ‘got it’ about social media.
I know lot of stuff about social media, the tools, the tricks, automation, leverage etc. But it took a simple comment from the mother of a 14 year old to serve up my personal ‘tipping point’ and a real understanding.
So while I have grappled with the problem of the varying effect of Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin versus good, old fashioned email it was not until this business lady said that her son simply does not use email that I saw the light and indeed the end game.
In 6 years time her son will be 20 years old and entering the business world either as a buyer or seller, a consumer, influencer or merchant. Whatever part he may play in the process the fact is that he doesn’t use email – and it’s a reasonable assumption that his friends don’t and wont do in the future either – and by then they won’t be his ‘friends’ but his business colleagues.
So there you have it. My tipping point of understanding was not based on research or analysis. Not on an overwhelming weight of evidence or statistics but simply on one statement about what is happening right now with one individual in the real world. And note also it was not so much about what users were doing but about what they are not doing any more.
Having seen the light about social media the next hurdle both for myself and the rest of humanity must be to work out how to integrate the time spent on social media participation into the working day.
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