The past two weeks have been unique. Last week I was in Syracuse, New York training a brilliant sales team at BlueRock Energy. The week before was spent hopping from borough to borough with the talented team at Vanguarde Consulting speaking with small business owners (save the Bronx due to a scheduling mix up).
Both weeks were filled with powerhouse executives who were charging headlong into the world of social media. All of them embracing the seismic shift of social media, and frankly it was inspiring.
I saw sales representatives like Wendy Defazio of Bluerock Energy migrate from a barren LinkedIn profile into a thriving, engaged, and appropriate profile that will surely help her close business in the coming months.
While working with the City of New York for a special program sponsored by the Pivot Conference and Social Week called "Social Week Gives Back" I was able to chat with small business owners in each borough and discuss how sales professionals can leverage social connections to boost sales. I was inspired by the work Natasha Bernardez is doing with her Twitter account for her holistic and socially responsible food business. We were Tweeting just moments after I lectured in Queens - she “get’s it.”
It took all of this (every interaction with every person over the past two weeks) for me to realize this.
So here I am - climbing up on my soapbox to proclaim a bombastic (seemingly negative) platitude about social media. Why on earth would I do this? I mean, after all - social media is my bread and butter, the core competency of my business and the lifeblood of all television appearances, radio appearances, and blog posts (this one included). The reason? It’s 2012 – there are 1 Billion people on Facebook, the average Facebook user is 40.5 years of age (Pingdom). Twitter generates 1.6billion search queries per day (yesmail).
It’s clear to me that the manner in which we aggregate and disseminate information as a culture has definitively changed. Social media is dead because EVERYTHING is social media.
If you have no mobile device, and you decide that you don’t want to participate in social media – chances are that someone has photographed you with a mobile device and that image is on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. If you own a business the chances of social media happening to your brand are even greater.
Recently, while speaking on a panel in Greenwich, CT a woman in the audience stood up to complain about this very message – that whether you like it or not social media is happening to you – and that EVERYTHING is social media. She was proclaiming that she wanted her potential clients to call her. Stating that she had posted her phone number on her website in huge font and expected people to call her and that she had no desire to “do” social media. I calmly explained to her that before she stood to make her proclamation during the event that I had photographed the audiences (this woman included) and Tweeted to my followers. Whether she liked it or not – social media was “happening to her.”
Social media is dead because everything is social media now. We’re surrounded by social media every day in every way. Either proactively engage in this phenomenon – or become obsolete. You've been warned.