Doing Business in the Dark

I see this situation time and time again and a) I never understand it and b) When I try to explain the concern, it’s like talking to a wall.  Here is the typical situation:

I am speaking with someone either a) in business, b) starting a business, or c) looking (proactively or reactively) for work – at some point in the conversation the topic of “social media” comes up. When I ask what they do around social media, I get a response resembling one of the following answers:

  • “Nah, I don’t do social media”
  • “Social media is for kids”
  • “Yeah, I should probably get on that some time”
  • “I don’t need people in my business”
  • “I don’t understand it”
  • “Nobody cares what I have to say anyway”

At this point in the conversation is when my head wants to spin around 5 times in utter amazement, frustration, disappointment, and borderline-anger.

(For those that know me, NO this is not rehashing the Facebook conversations I used to have with my Dad – that is an entirely different conversation, one which I don’t have enough storage on my account to write about)

Anyway, folks, let me put it as mildly as possible: If you are in business, starting a business, or in some level of career search, you HAVE, HAVE, HAVE to be in social media if you expect to succeed. Currently, there is no other way – period.

You don’t have to like it, or for that matter understand it. You do, however need to accept it and plan for it.

And please don’t ramble on about how you are special, your industry is unique, your network is rock solid, or some crap like that. Nope – not gonna happen – I’m not buying it.

And don’t flame me either.   “Don’t hate the player, hate the game” as the kids like to say.

To be clear, I am not suggesting you should Snapchat your resume, or Tweet a picture of every meal, or start a blog to discuss your views on global warming.

If you are a business, you have a brand. If you are an individual, you also have a brand.

In today’s current “climate”, both require some level of social media if you expect people to be aware of who you are or what you are selling.

If you are not doing this, that is the equivalent of doing business “in the dark” (like l how I worked in the title here)?

Also note that social media is not the only thing, but it does need to be at least “a” thing.

For businesses, SEO alone is not the answer. Wouldn’t it seem odd to you if you didn’t see the familiar Facebook and Twitter symbols somewhere on the webpage of the business you were working with?  Would that mean that you would be required to (gasp) use email to communicate with them or offer feedback!? (yes, that was sarcasm)

(taking a deep breath now – slight meditation break)

I could rant for a long time about this, but I will spare you of that.

Let’s keep it simple here. The bottom line, in my opinion, is that if you have any desire to grow your business and promote your personal or corporate brand, social media needs to be a component of that. It doesn’t even need to be the primary one if you don’t want it to be, but it does need to be there.

Or, feel free to continue “in the dark”. Let know how that works out for you…


PS – Funny irony here – the folks that I think would benefit from this are probably not even reading it since I am posting it on that darned “social media”. Isn’t that excellent! So do me a favor and help them out a bit. Send them this link via email. Or print and mail it if you have to. Whatever it takes!  🙂

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