Socail Media – Technology First?

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Hi5….. the list can go on and on. I have spoken to several business owners lately who have someone tweeting, posting and creating a FB page for them.  The reason, “someone told me I needed to be on (fill in your favorite social media platform)

Technology seems to be the goal today for most Social Media Strategies. I had a meeting earlier today where the question was asked more than once, what tools should we be using? And by the way there are some cool tools out there. But if you have read any of my other blogs  you will know what is coming next.

Social Media is not about using tools or building a Facebook page or making sure that you are posting every day. It is about building relationships with your employees, customers and prospects. Knowing what they are saying so you can react to them in a positive way. Whether there comment is negative or positive. It is about having a conversation and building trust.

At a recent networking event I came across a gentleman who said his marketing company was tweeting, posting and writing blogs for them. When I asked him a couple of questions:

Are those reaching your audience?

Are you involved in the discussions and building the content?

I lost his interest and he smiled and said I just know they are making sure I am using social media. Really? Someone is making sure that his company is using social media but if asked I would wager that he could not tell you what his last post was about. Or even if the message is cohesive and meeting the objectives of his audience.

It is important for companies moving forward in this new business world of Social Media to know that there are two camps doing business with them and looking to do business with them.

Those over the age of 30 and those under the age of 30. Whether your audience is consumers or businesses both those camps still apply. Individuals make buying decisions, companies don’t.  So going back to my style of training, we need to ask the question.

Why is that important to you, the business owner or executive?

People over the age of 30 still believe in not airing their dirty laundry to the world. (Bear with me, these are general statements and I am not saying that all individuals over the age of 3o or under the age of 30 believe or act the same way.) But for discussion on Social Media is important to understand the difference. Those under the age of 30 believe in transparency.

Right now is a transition period. As a business you have to keep both camps happy. But if you plan on moving your company into the future you need to start moving toward transparency. Even the government is learning that lesson.

So to end this rant, whatever you are doing with Social Media, please take into account your audience, what you want them to do. Then build a strategy to make that happen and build the relationship and trust with your audience on the platforms that they are using.

If you are a car salesman and tweet all day, chances are you won’t sell many cars. But if you are on a group that is talking about the type of cars you sell and you build the relationship by giving them information that helps them with buying cars, maintaining cars and answering their questions. Then the chances of you selling more cars is greater because now you are a trusted advisor and not just another car salesman.

So the next time someone recommends a great Social Media Tool. Ask yourself the question:

Does this tool help me reach my audience, if not, don’t use the technology.

Technology without a Strategy is like buying 4 tires and not owning a car.

Les Adkins CEO Orange SMS (Social Media Solutions)


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