If you spend some time reading business articles, you are bound to come across those that contain glowing remarks about using social media. Probably 99 percent of the articles out there, whether in magazines or on blogs and commentaries, insist that you need to be on social media. They speak for the 99 percent, after all (that’s a little fun jab at the Wall Street occupiers). But before you throw your efforts into building a buzz on the social media bandwagon, you may want to re-think your efforts, and here’s why!
Too many people today are participating in social media efforts to the exclusion of using traditional routes, such as good old fashioned networking. (Remember, when we used to meet people face to face and shake hands?) Going completely digital and bypassing face time is detrimental to your business for a number of reasons, including:
• All that social media makes you feel bad about yourself. If you haven’t yet realized this little fact, start paying attention! Check out the majority of posts on Twitter and Facebook, and you will see that they are overwhelmingly positive. It makes sense, after all, because nobody wants to share misery with their audience. So what happens is that post after post is a celebration. Reading all those positive, amazing things at a certain point can make you feel bad about yourself, as if you aren’t keeping up. So here’s the tip – first, recognize that social media is not a representation of reality and, second, read it less and you will feel better about yourself!
• Many people, perhaps even you, feel that communication on social media is just as good as – or perhaps even better than – being face to face. After all, it’s fast, it’s direct, it’s easy. Sure, it requires less effort on everyone’s part…but is that necessarily a good thing? Take that client that you’ve been pursuing and talking with via Twitter. If your competitor simply meets with them face to face, they have a major advantage! They are real, after all. Real people are trusted more than electronics. And really your Twitter communication could be a spammer trying to in the end, sell you something.
• You lose efficiency. You have to know this! You may think you are saving time by using social media sites, but they can be addicting. Before you know it, an hour has gone by, and your productivity tanks! I bet, like most people, you are most productive when no one else distracts you and your email is turned off. It isn’t much of a stretch to see that fewer distractions occurring less frequently result in more productivity. Social media, with its constant stream of updates, kills efficiency and productivity.
• Shorter and shorter relationships result. Social media is great for building an instant relationship, albeit a shallow one. But to attain that greater ability to communicate with more and more people, the trade-off is that your connections become more and more shallow. Deep relationships that are long-term and trusting are the foundation of a great business. Social medial alone might be quick at building a house of cards, but it is a house of cards, nonetheless.
All the social media in the world can never replace simply meeting someone face to face and having a conversation. Social media lacks the depth that is involved in real meetings. Through social media, everyone remains a screen name, so the relationships stays distant, which makes it challenging to move it forward and let it flourish.
When you opt for a real networking opportunity, there is the chance to truly get to know someone and make a connection. It is those connections that bond us together and will help your business to thrive. Get back to the basics of looking people in the eye, and see how much better you, and your prospects, feel as a result!