Social Media is Appropriate for Every Business ...Period.

Chris Dessi
Chris Dessi CEO, Author, Television Commentator , Silverback Social

Posted on June 1st 2012

Social Media is Appropriate for Every Business ...Period.

About 6 months ago my Father hesitantly asked me a favor.  He’d scheduled an appointment with his friends and long-time financial advisors from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney: Richard L. Schneider and Ira Bauman.  Dad is living with ALS (aka Lou Gherig’s disease), and is in a wheelchair. Requests like this have become the norm around our house. If I can’t help Mom and Dad, my brother steps in.  

Senior Vice President Financial Advisor-The Bauman Schneider Wealth Management Group Morgan Stanley Smith BarmeyIf my brother can’t help a loving family member, friend or neighbor usually steps up to help.   We have a network of people who love my parents so dearly, that finding someone to help get him around usually isn’t an issue.  I made sure I was at this meeting, because as I’m sure you know - ALS is terminal. 

Getting my Father’s finances in order is certainly not the first thing you may think of when you’re hit with a diagnosis like ALS, but it’s certainly an ugly reality our family must deal with.  Who will manage the money? What are our options? How involved with my brother and I be throughout the process?  All legitimate questions that must be addressed. All are also the most gut wrenching chill inducing, tear jerking topics anyone can have.  And so it went. 

One afternoon a few months ago, we set out on our journey.  I escorted my parents from their leafy suburb of Carmel, NY to the cavernous avenues of New York City to sit with their financial planners.  On paper this sounds like a scene from Wall StreetGordon Gecko sitting at his desk, hair perfectly quaffed, puffing on a cigarette, on the phone making a deal, all while taking his own blood pressure.  I get it.  Even though I’ve known both Rich and Ira for years, I too expected to get cold insight and feedback, but what happened next is why I will always work with Ira and Rich, and why my parents have been with them for years.   It’s also proof that no matter what your product, or service, you have appropriate content for social media.  I promise.  

Rich and Ira hadn’t seen my Father since he’d been in the wheelchair, and you could see the surprise on their faces.  Mom was tentative about the meeting and you could feel it in the air.  I won’t get into the details and ensuing emotion that followed the meeting – I’m sure you can image that this was the last place my mother thought she would be just a few short months after her retirement, but I assure you this – Ira and Rich were nothing short of spectacular.  They slowly walked my mother through her options. They gently allowed for her to inquire. They softly responded to her and took their time.  They … took …their …time. 

Senior Vice President, Financial Advisor - Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

Suffice to say, I was, and remain impressed, flabbergasted really.   I’m not telling this story for your pity. We’re a strong unit.  We’re dealing with the daily challenges that face my Father, and we’re following my parent’s lead, by handling each milestone with grace and dignity.  I’m recounting this story to make one point:  

There is humanity in every business, and therefore every business has an opportunity to engage in social media. 

Now, I’m not so naïve that I believe that Ira Bauman and Rich Schneider who are financial advisors at one of the largest financial institutes in America can freely engage in social media the way I can.  Ira has a Twitter account and so does Rich - each of which are highly regulated. I fully understand that they’re bound by financial regulatory guidelines (as well they should be). Their opinions mean something, and can sway markets! But image how powerful it would be if they were able to blog about their interaction with my parents. 

Imagine if Rich were able to recount the numerous times he gets choked up when we speak on the phone and he inquires about my parents.  Imagine if Rich and Ira could answer questions on Quora about the details of handling estates.  Imagine the good they could do via Twitter, by reaching a broader high net worth audience who are sick and tired of the same garbage they hear on a day to day basis and are looking for financial planners with character and integrity like this? Imagine if I were able to write a recommendation on their Linkedin profiles detailing this interaction?  

The sad fact is I can't because of regulatory issues. But I guarantee that there are many MANY people out there who would benefit from this type of social media interaction.  It's stories like this that are proof of character.  Proof of integrity, and proof that these gentlemen are the real deal.  It's also proof that there is fodder for social media in every single business, no matter how "stiff" or dull it may seem.  This is why people trust them with their money. This is why they do business with them. This is why I will always invest my money with Rich Schneider and Ira Bauman.

So there you have it. No matter what your business or service, I dare you to tell me that you don’t have appropriate content for social media.  These guys manage the finances of high net worth individuals and they could spend a year blogging about one afternoons encounter.  I dare you to tell me that your cupcake store has nothing to share on your Facebook status.  

Social media has to do with humanity.

So if you’re a human being – there is fodder for social ...period.   

Chris Dessi

Chris Dessi

CEO, Author, Television Commentator , Silverback Social

An award winning digital thinker, author, television & radio commentator, public speaker and educator, Chris Dessi is the CEO and Founder of Silverback Social. Silverback is the world's leading social media agency, enables top brands and advertisers, to connect with more than a billion customers through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, Youtube, and more.

Throughout his career in London and New York, Chris has worked with a wide array of businesses ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, as well as notable personalities, products and brands.

Chris’ savvy marketing acumen combined with his passion for psychology, sociology and cultural studies, all reside at the fulcrum of his unique manifesto; he believes that social media is much more of a spiritual awakening rather than a technological one. This revolutionary perspective has propelled his personality into the national media landscape. In addition to being a regular social media expert contributor on Fox Business' Shappard Smith Show, CNBC, Fox Evening News, Good Day New York, WPIX, and Fox Business’ Varney & Co., Chris has appeared on Inside Edition, The Steve Adubato Show, One to One, and has participated in radio segments on WOR’s The John Gambling Show in Manhattan, and WBAL’s Marybeth Marsden show in Baltimore.

Chris applied his fresh and innovative outlook on social media to the pages of his first book, “Your World is Exploding: How Social Media is Changing Everything and How You Need to Change With It,” which shot to #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in its first two weeks of publication.

As an educator, Chris recognizes that the manner in which we, as a culture, aggregate and disseminate information has changed, and he is devoted to sharing his effective techniques for mastering engagement in social media to the world. Chris has lectured on social media to sales executives of Fortune 200 companies and he consistently travels the country coaching college students how to leverage social media to benefit their personal brand message and their career.

In 2012, Chris was selected by the Business Council of Westchester’s 40 Under 40 for exemplifying leadership, foresight and a vision for the future of Westchester County, where he currently resides with his wife and two daughters.

Consistent with the passion he holds for his professional career is the devotion he has to his family. Having never been a runner, Chris trained to run the New York City Marathon last year to raise money for the ALS Association after his father was diagnosed with the disease. When the Marathon was cancelled after Sandy hit, Chris took it upon himself to run his own 26.2 mile marathon route in Westchester to honor his father.

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Posted on June 1st 2012 at 11:38AM

Great article! Sympathies to you and your family. You make a great point that social media isn't about selling a service or product, but it's communicating your humanity. Social media networks should be called human networks. 

AgooBiz Inc
Posted on June 2nd 2012 at 9:07AM

First off, my deepest sympathies to your family.

Everything you said is true except for the statement: "I dare you to tell me that your cupcake store has nothing to share on your Facebook status."

My team and I believe that Social Media/Social Networks are the future [and the present] of business. But WE believe that when business owners say they have nothing to share about their business on their FB status, it is because of the FB platform itself, not Social Media as a whole.

People have always viewed and still view FB as a cool platform for socializing, sharing pictures, finding friends, etc. FB was not created for businesses or with businesses in mind. They added company pages when they realized it is necessary to turn a profit. If the User Experience of FB's company pages had been designed better, then more businesses would be getting conversions, ROI, increased sales, etc. But most are not. The User Experience is poor for the business owner when they're setting up their company page and it is poor for the end customer looking through the business owner's company page.

Social Networks are a great resource for businesses, just not FB in its current state. If FB cleans itself up and improves the User Experience on its company pages, then business owners will stop saying they have nothing to share on their FB status.

Nice topic for discussion - thanks!

Steve Kavetsky
Co-Founder/President // The Social Commerce Network
  "WE work greater than me"