Don’t take the social out of social media

Can't speak? Find your voice.

Most businesses understand they need a social media presence in much the same way that they knew they needed an Internet presence 15 or so years ago.

The typical (and understandable) reactions I have heard from many businesses over the past few years is “I don’t have time” or “I don’t know what to do”. It is a short skip and a jump to then look for an outsourcer who will do all this new fangled “social media stuff” for you. And so social media consulting companies have sprung up, and all marketing/media consultants have added social media to their suite of offerings.

Let us all take a pause though and consider what social media is. At a simple level, it is the ability of everyone one of us to connect and interact, much like we used to do in tribal villages for millennia, to listen, to share, to laugh, … and basically do what we are hot wired to do – communicate. As large media companies have tried to own this space for the past 150 years, so the onset of social media about 5 years ago has turned this on its head, and perhaps returned us to our former time, one that we are quite adept of handling on our own.

If social media allows businesses to talk (in a normal human way, warts and all) to their clients, prospects and the world, then how can this important central function be outsourced? It would need a very switched on company to do it for you, they would need to know what you were thinking, how you would speak and how you would interact to all the information that constantly rolls down the various news feeds. Surely only you are in the best position to do this? Or people in your business? No matter how large or small your business is.

Learn it yourself, at least at the outset. Take a course (yes, there are loads of them around too). Take baby steps, see what others do, do what feels right. In time you will find your voice, and find out what works. And in so doing, you may very well discover a whole new way of engaging with your marketplace, in a far better way than your competitors do currently. Very few businesses do social media well, there is still time to forge your own path. In time, you may engage some outside help, and do it together, but for now – do it yourself.

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