You have to use social media to get it

13 Apr

Not so long ago I met someone, a smart industry veteran, who poo-pooed social media as an unfortunate flavour of the month.

“Naturally I have tweetered,” he told me. I saw fear in his eyes. This is for him and for people like him who hate the change that’s afoot and don’t know where to begin with it:

You can’t sit on the sidelines passively reading about social media, and then slough it off as a fad or the next dot.bomb.

You can close your eyes and hope it goes away, but it won’t. It will certainly morph into something new, but the landscape has changed now.

You have to fearlessly wade in, grab a platform that you don’t get by the throat and throttle some sort of understanding out of it.

They all look confusing at first. But so did typewriters in their day.

Take foursquare. Click on this link and watch the 2-minute demo on the right hand side. Now you get the platform. Just a fad? Possibly, but aren’t they all at the beginning? Not your thing? Immaterial. It could be your customers’ thing.

Spend a day with it. Create a profile. Swallow your lack of interest and try to figure out what other people love about it.

One thing’s for sure. You’re going to feel awfully damn smart having an opinion on foursquare based on your experience with it – rather than just on your perception.

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4 Responses to “You have to use social media to get it”

  1. Mario Parise April 13, 2010 at 6:51 am #

    Great post!

    What’s perhaps most unfortunate about those who don’t try social media (or any new tech) is that they fall into two camps. The first are like you described: too scared and convinced it’s just a fad.

    The other group are too scared of missing the next big thing and are too easily swayed by every new development.

    I think the greatest benefit to being involved in social media is being able to really understand what has substance, and what doesn’t. (Although, again, there are no guarantees. I’m guilty of having written off Twitter when it first came out.)

  2. dbbradle April 13, 2010 at 8:39 am #

    I often run into people who don’t “get” Twitter. I’ve found introducing anti-social-media people or those who don’t understand the Twitter platform to Tumblr and Posterous to be great way to get their feet wet with social media.

    These two insanely simple blogging platforms are so closely connected to other social media mediums, like Twitter, that a natural understanding of the power of social media evolves.

    Also, with Twitter launching its ad platform today (I know, I’m excited too), there’s more incentive than ever to jump into social media and harness its power to build a community.

  3. dougbrowncreative April 13, 2010 at 8:49 am #

    > Mario, when you cast an eye over the social media landscape, it becomes apparent that you can’t become versed in EVERY platform. But if you just follow the crowd to the most popular, and don’t explore new ones for yourself, you never feel like you’re really embracing the change, you know?

    > Groovy 70’s guy, thanks for the tip. I hope it helps someone get their feet wet.

  4. Michela April 13, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    Until recently, I was one of those people who “didn’t get twitter”. After creating an account in November and tweeting once, I abandoned my account until late January, not seeing the point of logging on to another social media outlet (already being on facebook). However, after a chat with Diana at Copeland I was inspired to give it one more shot. Now I understand the appeal of it- expressing mini thoughts and seeing what other people have to say. Also, really cool links to things that I’m interested in, but wouldn’t have necessarily had the time to find on my own.

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