It seems every where you look these days someone is singing the praises of Social Media and declaring what a great Game Changer it has become. As you know I am a Social Media enthusiast (ok and a Gadget and Technology Geek too) and there is definitely no way I would be as succesful in my work as I am without the use of Social Media. While SM has had an impact equally what has worked for me in the past can still be as valuable a tool.
For many people SM has changed the way that they work and share information. Not only has this happened for me but I also feel that SM has changed the way that I process and seek out information – not only in a SM perspective but more so in the way I go about my daily life. I think it has made me more inquisitive and open to others thoughts and ideas. I also think if I pulled out my old statistics books from university I could show some sort of positive correlation between my use of SM and my searching for new ideas.
The latest big change we are seeing (big in terms of hype more than substance at this point) is Facebook’s introduction of Places which is a location based services where you can tag yourself and friends. Am I going to take advantage of this introduction of new services? It will be tough since I deleted my Facebook account about a month ago. I deleted my Facebook profile not because of any deep hatred against Facebook or because I am vehemently against Facebook’s privacy settings and policies.
For me, as much as I am a fan of SM – I do not want to be on every Social Media site/platform that is available. I have had people gawk at the thought that I am not on Facebook. One common comment/question is that how can I disregard a site that has 500 million subscribers. Ok there are 500 Million people on Facebook, but as an individual I dont want to ‘friend’ 500 million people. For business purposes it may be a different story, but to me the comment that not being on FB because everyone else is seems to follow the old saying “if everybody else jumped off a cliff would you do it too”. Shouldn’t I do something because it works for me, not because everyone else is doing it. Yes, I get it – 500 million people is a big pool of potential customers but as a personal user I am not after customers. For me FB has not been the most effective SM tool I use and I only have so much time to give to my online presence – sorry FB there had to be a cut off point somewhere.
I think the location based services that FB is offering has some potential and if it is used effectively it could be a great business tool, I also think it has some risks as well which have been well explained on many of the IT news and commentary sites.
So what does all this have to do with the title of this blog entry? Yes, things like Augmented Reality, Geo-tagging and mobile technology all have great potential for business, but for me I don’t need to know that someone I want to talk to is at the movie theatre or at a coffee shop. If I know who I want to talk to then more often than not picking up the phone and “building pipeline” is still a tried, tested and succesful way for me to get the results required of me.
Again I am not bashing FB or SM here, I think they both have their places. Innovation is great it is how we keep moving forwards but there needs to be a balance between “what could be” and “what works”. If you can get the balance right of trying new things and still doing the basics that you need to do to be succesful then you have the balance right. I think we will see some big changes in the SM space in the next few years in some form or another. I think that SM has plateaued to some degree in terms of offerings but I do think it will keep evolving. As much as we are seeing SM change the way business works don’t forget the things that have worked for you in the past, they likely will help you get to where you are going in the future.