Why social media is anything but, and why you still have to use it…

It is an ever present frustration for many companies that everybody seems to harp on about how they have to use social media to promote their business. I’m not going to sway from that line either by the way, so-called “social” media is a must for promoting your company in an ever-changing digital landscape.

That being said, I object to anybody who believes it is a “social” medium.

It is, in my opinion, one of the least social activities you can be involved in. In the wake of the referendum (which of course I have to mention because this is a “topical” blog), everybody on my Facebook feed appears to have become an overnight politician and economical expert. There is backstabbing, abuse, hatred and ranting a plenty. And this is my point! How could you possibly, openly and aggressively insult your so-called friends? I should stress as well that I have refrained from making any comments on any platform about politics, in part to remain neutral but also to avoid any abuse which could come my way. On social media, I’m Switzerland (proud of this one as Switzerland isn’t an EU member…).

I know people who have “un-friended” each other. Sought others out to dole out their own opinions. Even, attacked friends of friends, leaving the shared contact stuck in the middle of an awkward debate.

In true social networking, away from keyboards, we are polite. Considerate. Decent. People assume that just because we type out the words instead of saying them face to face that it grants us an anonymity. Some sense of empowerment seems to be granted to the dubbed “keyboard warriors” as they dole out opinion after opinion. And those of us suck reading all this garbage don’t really care either. We just skim over it, choosing to look the other way.

I resent social media because it is an act. It should be called “digital networking”, and even then people should keep the networking in inverted commas. So why do I advocate it for business?

It’s quite simple really, the world and his dog (in many cases literally) use these platforms. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Periscope etc. The lists are endless but they are all used prolifically. Some argue that it isn’t used by businesses, but business owners do. Decisions makers are on there as individuals, granting you direct access to your target demographic.

I’ve given numerous talk on the use of “Social Media” (read digital networking) for business. I suggest it as I have had proven success with it as have many of my customers. You can’t ignore it and definitely shouldn’t if you want to grow. It’s vital for marketing, SEO, sales and customer service. Don’t be the company struggling to catch up a few years from now. The next 12 months will be the tipping point and, as was once said “It’s better to be in the tent pissing out than out the tent pissing in”.

Rant over. I’ll try and rant less next week!

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