50s cocktail party

“Isn’t social media, Facebook and the like, for teenagers or the ‘Computer Generation’? How is this going to help me and my business?”

This isn’t the first time I have come across this opinion of social media, but this morning I was asked whether I could give an explanation of social media, especially LinkedIn, and how it can help the average business on the street.

To a certain type of business person (those who use computers for business but who don’t have to their laptop surgically removed from them in the evening), there seems to be a phobia about social media that makes it appear to be an enigma or youngsters buzzword. How do you explain what social media does to the layman?

What was Social Media in the old days?

Mmm let’s rewind a few years, before online social media existed – what did we do then? Firstly, we communicated face to face, we went to the pub, met new people physically in cafés and restaurants, we picked up the telephone, organised social events, went to cocktail parties and generally had more gatherings in various types of establishments – this meant that we generally met more people! These days the pubs seem empty, we have to fit more into our day so we seem to have less time for the social gatherings, people work from home more so the offices are smaller and less populated so we now need to rethink how we continue to network and meet new, interesting people.

What is Social Media now?

So I said “Think of social media [LinkedIn] as an online get together in the pub on a Friday after work! Does it seem so alien and ridiculous then?”
“Well, no” was the answer. So there was a change in attitude straight away! Seeing social media as an alternative to meeting people in the pub or restaurant after work and a way of connecting with other like minded people, dispels the thought that social media or networking is only for computer geeks / teenagers / IT personnel  (delete which may be applicable!).

Think of social media [LinkedIn] as an online get together in the pub on a Friday after work!

Just one thing to note: Just as you wouldn’t try to force business immediately on a new contact at a cocktail party, there is a similar level of etiquette involved online. It is about building a relationship and rapport with people first and foremost so please remember this as you make a new connection with someone. It can be thought of in a similarly fond manner as an evening get together, a way of connecting with groups of people that are interested in sharing thoughts, views or opinions.

Put down your preconceived thoughts that it is for other people and not for you. Make it what you want it to be, whether that’s the end-of-the-week get-together or a cocktail party.

Go on, change how you think and give it a try.

If you would like to find out more about how social media can work for your company but scared to give it a try, call us on 01379 676720 to see what one could work for you!

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