It recently came to my attention that I seldom log in to LinkedIn anymore. There are other social media platforms that I’ve also allowed to slide off, such as, Twitter and Pinterest. All of which have felt like a thorn in my side the last few times that I have logged in.
I receive messages, such as, “We have so much in common, let’s link up and chat a bit more.” This sounds good on the surface, but the next move on their end is an attempt to shove a program down my throat that promises a six-figure income within a short period of time…all based on a premise of success that I do not trust, and mainly because I do not know the company or person that offered it. Some use a clever twist of words, but it ends up sounding like an echo because it all comes from the same general tactic.
What happened to the social in social media?
I looked at the start date on my oldest Twitter account. The account is 13 years old. Back in those days, when we tweeted we built relationships. We knew each other. We supported each other. We bought products and services from each other, and we were quick to refer customers and clients to our fellow tweeters. Word of mouth is golden!
I recently held a brief online conversation with an entrepreneur who was looking for people to read his short book. We had a ‘real’ conversation, and I did indeed read his book.
By having this human conversation, and by helping another entrepreneur, I realized just what is missing on social media (for business). We have forgotten to get to know each other.
Remember the old mom-and-pop grocery stores (if you are old enough, like me)? They didn’t market through social media. They thrived on word of mouth. They thrived through personal and quality customer service. They thrived as they hooked arms with other entrepreneurs. This support system strengthens each community and industry. This is what we are missing, and we are failing to achieve via social media.
I am determined to get to know others once again through LinkedIn and other platforms. I am determined to do my part as a business in the online world. These changes that we so need on social media can start with one person, one business, one entity.
What do you think? Am I on target? Can we change the trajectory of how we communicate, and how we market? Is it not marketing? Ultimately, yes it is, but it is much more than that. It is a foundation of communication and ensuing relationships.