“Is Social Media ‘Worth It’?” It’s a question that I hear over and over, not just from Architects but from business people of all stripes.
As I was preparing for my Architect of the Internet presentation at the American Institute of Architects Ohio Valley Region Conference, I came across this video where Seth Godin responds to the question.
Do you know Seth Godin? He’s a well-known marketing guy, a thought leader and a best-selling author. If you don’t have his blog posts delivered directly to your inbox I’d suggest you start. I can’t think of anyone that distills thoughts and issues into a powerfully succinct little package better than he does.
During a panel discussion on digital marketing, someone from the audience asked Seth Godin if Social Networking was valuable for business. Here’s what he said:
“Do you measure success by the number of Facebook Friends you have? I hope not.
Most of your Facebook friends are not really your friends. They’re probably there because they didn’t want to offend you by pressing the ignore button. You haven’t seen or actually spoken to them in the 20 years since you graduated from high school.
If you’ve got 5,000 people following you on Twitter because you tell a joke every couple of hours that’s not particularly useful for your business either.
The internet is this giant networking event with all these people swarming around connecting as much as they can because they’re keeping score. Who likes me today, who’s talking about me today. But one day when you need to sign on a new client because you don’t know how you’re going to make payroll in November those scores don’t matter. What matters are the real relationships.
You can have real relationships with people you’ve never met when you’ve done things for each other, when you’ve exchanged worthwhile idea, when you’ve been connected by real things.
Networking is always important when it’s real and it’s always a useless distraction when it’s fake.
The internet has allowed an enormous amount of fake networking to take place. It’s so easy to be seduced by it because there’s a dashboard; a scoreboard that says look how popular I am … and its nonsense. If you’re measuring that, it’s like measuring hits to your website; it doesn’t translate. What translates is there are people out there who I would go out of my way for and who would go out of their way for me. That’s what you need to keep track of and the way to get there is to go out of your way for them and by earning the privilege of one day having that connection.”
“Networking is always important when it’s real and it’s always a useless distraction when it’s fake.” Remember that point.
Are you making real connections through your Social Media efforts? In my opinion, taking the connections that you make online into the offline world is the most important and profitable use of Social Media.
What do you think? Are you making real connections online? Do you have examples you’d be willing to share?
Leave a comment and let me know. My goal is for Architect of the Internet to be an open forum where we can all learn to have success in the business of architecture through Social Media.
Oh, and here’s the video of Seth answering the question …
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