OK - I am officially on Social Media overload. Despite all my efforts to confine my use of it as a tool - I have been assimilated by the Borg and now consider myself part of the collective. I give up.... I pledge my allegiance to the blog and to the go public strategy for which it stands, one Twitter, under Linkedin, completely visible, with Facebook, Networking, and Branding for all.
It seems that you can no longer have a conversation without spending at least half of the time discussing Social Media.
Lead Generation, Web Design, Data Appending, Sales Training, Marketing, SEO, Blogging, Public Relations, Direct Mail, Business Development, Loyalty - no matter what the topic - doesn't it seem to now center on Social Media?
In the last three weeks I have been to three events and participated in two webinars all of which focused on Social Media ROI. Not one person had a case study that showed any proven ROI that Social Media had made them money.
But can you live without? How will people find you, how will people trust you, how will people view you if you don't have a robust Social Media presence?
In our Brave New World....
1. We all self-educate before we make a decision. The fastest and easiest way to do the research is generally on the web. Social Media make info is accessible.
2. We trust people we know. Relatives, neighbors and friends have always influenced our decisions. Social Media extends the circle and reduces the time to get opinions.
3. We want community. Humans crave affiliation and want to be part of something. Church groups, Elks, Rotary, PTA - these are all ways that we connect with people of similar interests... it helps us feel normal! Social Media offers a gateway to join groups, follow trends, get information without having to go to meetings, get on committees or sell brownies as a fundraiser.
We may not always like it or even understand it - but Social Media - like every other major shift in how we communicate - offers benefits and hurdles. Radio didn't kill books or newspapers, TV didn't kill radio, Movies didn't kill theater, Cable didn't kill movies, email didn't kill the USPS, Texting has killed email, and Social Media won't kill Sales and Marketing. It will change us forever....
Progress brings new worlds, new opportunities and new markets. Social Media is a game changer, but the game isn't over.