My fiancé, John, is a business owner and when I talk about social media he shakes his head and makes a face like I’m describing a bad rash. Neither John or the business that he runs can be found on LinkedIn. Forget Twitter or Facebook. Hell, if John had his way, he wouldn’t even use email — he hates it. John prefers phone calls and handshakes.
I shared this with someone who was preaching about the importance of a Klout score as a business owner and he emphatically told me that John was “missing the boat”. Really?
When relationships are built and maintained based on ongoing exceptional service, and those relationships turn into cash…where exactly is that missing boat going? When the business grows from referrals due to that same great service…what’s the name of that boat? When you’re so busy with new business and the phone’s ringing off the hook…what boat?
I like social media and the folks I’ve met as a result but the one thing that I’ve learned is that many business owners haven’t heard of Klout, don’t care about Twitter or even LinkedIn. Know why? Because they’re running a business and don’t have time for social media!
So no, I’m not sold on the fact that being active on social media will grow a business (well, unless the business is social media). While I believe social media can offer exposure to opportunities, it’s still up to you, the living, breathing, smiling human to turn that opportunity into income by establishing and building the relationship. Social media won’t dial the phone for you. I gotta admit that when I see folks spending all day tweeting, Facebooking and touting their Klout score, I have trouble believing they’re making any money — but they’ll tell you differently!
People won’t hire you or pay you for your knowledge or service because of what you tweet or blog about. That’s not what they’re buying. When folks buy your product or service, they’re buying you — the person they’ve met. People invest in real, smiling people who want to make the effort to build and nurture long-term relationships that are mutually beneficial.
Isn’t building successful and long-term relationships worth the time investment?