Thursday, 23 August 2012

You may not "like" it, but it's here to stay

"You can't beat picking up a phone and just talking to people." If only I had a penny for every time a social sceptic has said that to me!

There's a couple of issues here that are worth thinking about.

The first thing is that there have always been late adopters for any new technology (although social media can hardly be called "new" any more). I can remember companies declaring that they'd never use email as a letter was "far more personal" and that if they'd wanted to talk to someone they'd pick up the phone. Sound familiar?

Eventually, all new fangled technology either becomes mainstream or dies out. The problem for a business comes when there's a refusal to adopt "new" ideas that their customers consider mainstream. That mismatch of communication styles can be fatal for a company.

You don't have to like social media, but you do have to take it seriously. If you wait until your lack of engagement affects your bottom line then it may be too late to recover.

There are still a number people I meet when I'm out networking that only want to talk to people in person. This brings me on to my second issue...

Only using one form of communication severely limits your reach and influence. We all have our preferred methods whether that be face to face, phone, print, email or social media. However, to broaden our customer base then we need to have a presence on as many communication channels as we can manage effectively.

Of course social media won't replace meeting people in person, the telephone didn't do that either! What it does give you is a very powerful tool to use in your business that works with all your other activities.

Generation Y is growing up. They are your new customers. Make sure you're there to meet them on their own ground.