Recently I received an invitation to speak on the ways to deal with social media overload. The audience wasn’t completely sold on the benefits of social media and questioned why they would choose social media over more personal forms of communication, such as having a phone conversation.
One of the comments was, “What do I do if my phone rings and I get a Tweet”?
In my multi-tasking-social-media-inclined-Millennial-mindset, I jokingly replied, “You pick up the phone and Tweet back at the same time.” He didn’t like my answer.
However, these individuals bring up a good point and a situation I faced a few years back when I worked for a corporate organization. The average age in this organization was 20 years my senior, however it was a multi-generation workforce. I discovered very quickly, by watching and “listening”, there were multiple ways to communicate with the diverse individuals that I worked with.
Some co-workers only responded to phone calls, while others preferred email, and for those who were in my age range, interoffice Instant Message sufficed. I learned that I needed to adapt in order to communicate with my co-workers. If I wanted to connect with someone, or if they reached out to me, I would respond to the communication method they preferred. If I didn’t know, I would email, which is my preferred method. Eventually their method would present itself.
Social media is no different.
Individuals have preferences over communications platforms. As a business owner you must be present on those platforms as well. If you aren’t, they are going to go to your competitor who is.
I have said this before and I will say it again. You don’t have to be on every platform, just where your audience is. However, if they are on Facebook and Twitter, you should be there too.
We are at a communications cross-road; multiple channels, multiple audiences and various preferred communication methods. There is no right answer other than adapting to their preference.
For those businesses holding out and waiting for the phone to ring, eventually it will stop ringing. #AdaptOrDie.
Social Media Consultant
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