Social Media for the MV industry – Part 4

I was inspired to write a little more based on notes by Robert Houben and Bill Haskett. Rather than boring too many colleagues over in the U2 list with one of my loooong notes, I decided to post here. Surprisingly it’s not that long. 🙂

If you haven’t already … see part1 to part4 of this multi-part series.

From Robert Houben: Here’s another article about social media. While it addresses more consumer facing data, you can easily see how some B2B companies can take advantage of the same concepts

Response from: Bill Haskett: The biggest issue I have this all of this social media craze (“emperor’s new clothes”) is the time it takes to manage multiple ways to do predominately the same thing. Although with enough resources, these marketing avenues are manageable, for small businesses, there aren’t enough resources in house. In addition, to outsource requires tremendous luck in the selection process. Secondly, the level of self-absorption in these social media outlets is so monumental, what can I say? It’s like talking with someone who spends the entire time preening themselves in from me.

And my response…

Well, I think most of us remember the exact same discussions 20 years ago, then 15, 12, 10… There’s always a new craze. Most MV people are inclined not to follow fads (myself included), but that’s often to our detriment, as we then get caught with user requests and have no clue what they’re talking about, let alone how to implement the solutions. And then these forums get flooded with “how do I do Foo with my U2 system?” followed by “looking for work” notices. What’s consistent is that these things just keep coming. Social media is just another fad that may stick with us like email or it may fade like usenet. It may (I hope) continue to undergo evolutionary changes to improve the way people communicate. But if a developer isn’t in tune with the paradigm of “change” itself, he/she is doomed to be struggling a decade late, like many of our colleagues trying to get on the Java or .NET “fad” based on a decade-old rudimentary understanding of VB6.

The concept of “self-absorption” which Bill mentioned, implies that we’re either projecting or consuming personal information. “Social media” is predominantly “social” but my entire focus here is on using the existing media for business purposes. That means checking a few times per day just to see if there are any business-related inquiries, and using the media once in a while to publish business information. I think I mentioned this in the blogs: Individuals in our target audience all have different preferences. Of any given audience, you could have 30% in facebook, 40% in LinkedIn, 60% in Twitter, and 80% in email. No those numbers don’t add to 100%, and that’s the point. Some people use different media, some more than one, and if you only target one, like email, you could miss 20% of your target audience.

With regard timely article that Robert cited, the author tells us about how he avoided the rush of phone traffic when he had a flight cancelled. I remember doing the exact same thing with my cell phone – you know, back in the days when if you had one you were a dork, compared to the opposite today. We were sitting on the plane and they announced we couldn’t take off due to equipment issues. While most people took their time to grumble and head back into the terminal to struggle with an airline rep, I got on my phone and had another flight arranged before I even got off the plane.

This all comes back to using the media as a tool for input and output of information deemed of value. Filter out what’s not of value, and don’t contribute to the pool of what others are filtering out. You don’t need to “use” all of the media, but give proper consideration to each one with regard to how Other people use it, and for how that media may benefit you as an individual or as a business. It doesn’t matter if you absolutely despite any given service (and I’m not afraid to say I really dislike Facebook), your decision needs to be pragmatic, not subjective.

And to roll back to my original campaign here, I welcome everyone to “follow me on Twitter” where I’m increasingly trying to tweet about MV-related topics… if only there were more people doing the same. That’s where I am going on this…

C’mon over to Part5.

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