At my Rotary meeting this week, two of our young members presented a program entitled: “Social Media: Why it’s Not Going Away and More on What it’s About” (Average age of the club member in this club – 58 years).
My boomer-age Rotarian friend leaned over and said “Do you have facebook?” I said “Yes, I have it all”. To which he replied: “I don’t know why I would use it except to keep up on my kids”.
It made me think of three things I would say to him, and other baby boomers who still want to grow their business:
1) For the 95% of us that are actually looking for new business, a blog, a Facebook profile, or LinkedIn page are necessary places to establish a brand, and credibility and relationships. Blog about your specialty. Offer up helpful tips on your Facebook page that people you know will value. It helps show that you know your stuff. Without advertising. (It’s especially helpful to have someone specific in your mind – a “persona”.)
2) The same reason you belong to Rotary or frequent social, philanthropic luncheons, or other networking functions is the reason Facebook is an efficient way to get connected to your community and get into conversations. Conversations lead to introductions, and meeting new people is simply good for business.
3) Information is abundant on the internet, and access to knowledge and ideas are available from unlimited sources. Quickly get information right to your desk by Googling the exact information you need! My last Google search was for a remedy for my dog after being sprayed by a skunk on Halloween! Without the instant access to information, and a subsequent 6am visit to Wall Mart, my house would be unlivable (and my animal impossible to live with)! This info, not out of a veterinary journal, came from bloggers about their pets. Who knows when people are looking for financial planning or accounting advice in a pinch will run across you!
Remember, the purpose of communication falls into one of two categories: to inform, to build a relationship, or a call-to-action. When people talk to each other, it is either to exchange information or to ask someone to do something. As Stephen said this week at Rotary, the fastest segment of users on social media are over 40 years of age. Try it for yourself. In the end, you have the choice not to use this technology, if you don’t find it useful!
The generation gap seems to both widen and become narrower at the same time! I hope more of our clubmates will chose to see what it’s all about.