Why is it that I always seem to feel hesitant when it comes to speaking personally again? I have this debate in my head about the pros and cons of writing a post like this. After all, everybody has their own opinion right? But, it is at that point that I begin to feel slightly uneasy. Why? Because I am not sure any longer about my last statement.
My topic is Social Media Marketing and the impact it has upon us. I am sure some of you will understand my hesitancy now that I have revealed my subject. It has been almost four years since I started using Social Media and adding it to my marketing mix. Let me be clear. Social Media has been a really enjoyable journey and most of it positive. I have also encouraged others to use it wisely and have set up clients with various social media platforms to enhance and increase their profile reach within the market place. I cannot help thinking that there are those who have jumped on the social media band wagon with no clear understanding or strategy in place. That may well form part of the problem.
Time to Review
I have been working with Twitter, Facebook for Business, LinkedIn and of course the Blog. I have recently been reviewing my involvement with each of these platforms and decided that it was time to close my Facebook account completely. Some people have been horrified at such an action. But, I decided that Facebook no longer gave me what I needed for my business. On a personal level it chews time which for me is better spent in ‘face to face’ conversation. On a business level I could not get it to work for me.
I believe it is important to cultivate the art of real and unabridged conversation. Face to face is the foundation which enables virtual to become real. That does not mean that I am saying; ‘Close your Facebook Account.’ However, for me it was a step in the right direction.
As you know I work as a marketing consultant within the construction industry and find that Twitter is helpful in engaging and connecting with like-minded people. As time has passed I have tried to maintain open contact with those who are part of my network (followers and the followed). Two things have caused me to consider my use of Twitter. My HOME FEED is flooded with Social Media People all screaming for my attention and only the occasional construction related Tweet. This has been my fault because I have adopted a ‘follow’ policy for most people who choose to follow me. But, I needed to make a change, so I decided to open up a new stream that is specific to construction. This has proved more hopeful. I will still use Twitter as a key part of my marketing mix but I monitor it closely and make changes as and when necessary. I guess this is a ‘mental marketing audit review’
Automation – Speeding Up the Pace
I then started to think about ‘automation’ in the process of gaining new followers. I must add that I do not use automation and neither do I enjoy being followed using this method. I personally want to develop real relationships with real people and have connections which have value. I do understand that some people on Twitter will engage with you only once or twice but those exchanges will prove to be purposeful and helpful. Others may become clients or colleagues, even friends because of the value of the service they provide. And, more importantly by virtue of who they are! I enjoy the banter and often a very helpful link is included in a Tweet which gives me fresh insight. But, the bulk of automated followers have no desire to engage. They are looking for numbers rather than connections and that as a priority seems unsociable!
The Impact of Social Media and Technology
In 2012 I read an article about one in four couples speaking to their partner for less than 10 minutes a day. How many stories have you read or heard where whole families sit around in the same room engaged with their device and their social media platform? It sounds funny but it happens and I do see a trend emerging where people invest more time in ‘virtual relationships’ rather than the real deal. Yes, people are finding social media slowly creeping up on those who make ‘device engagement a priority’ This is an area that I would like to research more thoroughly. I would like to hear your views about this. Please comment!
Is this You?
We used to be limited to the office but now Smart phones have made social media engagement easier on the hoof. Increasingly we are dependent on our devices and they travel with us on the train, to the park, around the dinner table and when visiting friends. We can be found constantly Tweeting or sharing our daily routine and experience on Facebook or surfing the web looking for a quick ‘fix.’ We check our Profile streams, emails or texts and feel agitated if we are not engaged in some way on our Smart phone or tablet. I will say no more. I am sure you will know what I am saying.
“Technology promises to let us do anything from anywhere with anyone. But it also drains us as we try to do everything everywhere. We begin to feel overwhelmed and depleted by the lives technology makes possible. We may be free to work anywhere , but we are also prone to being lonely everywhere.” – Sherry Turkle
Well, I guess that is enough for now. I have more thoughts but they can wait for another day. You might want to reply to this post with your own experiences. I would appreciate hearing from you. So, PLEASE COMMENT