You’re on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and more every day. You post comments, pictures and comment on others posts and pictures. You post articles, surveys, look for affiliations, market yourself and work to create engagement with others. You text, e-mail, FaceTime and do Google Hangouts. You do all of this and yet most of you are truly trying to run and hide.
First of all, let me state that I think social and digital communication is fantastic. I think it should be a part of everyone’s day if you want to share, engage, market and tell your story. Social media and digital communications allow you to reach and connect with audiences you could never reach in ways you could never do without these media.
However, I also think for all the good that social and digital media do, they make it easy to create unintended consequences. One of those unintended consequences is that it becomes too easy to not try more direct communications that are — and always will be — more personable and powerful.
Social media and digital communications, for all their power and ease of use, do not replace in-person communications. They do not replace a personal phone call. Social media should not replace personal hand-written notes and cards. Social media should be used with, but not in place of, traditional media.
I see more and more people hiding behind a keyboard or a mobile phone, scared to death to actually engage with people in an intimate, personal way. Yes, social/digital is easy and can even be preferred by many, but you are a human being and human interaction has dynamics that social and digital cannot replace. Social media has made it easy for people to get lazy and avoid the work that must be done. Social media does not replace selling or shaking someone’s hand, looking them in the eye and asking questions while utilizing empathy and compassion expressed through the human body.
I recommend you think “in person first, phone second and all other media next.” Never forget the power of the human desire for connection. Social media has connected more people than anything in history. At the same time, it has disconnected more people than anything in history. Do not get lazy and use social and digital media as an excuse to hide and be lazy.
Think of emotions that can be created with an in-person visit. Think of emotions that can be created with a personal phone call. Think of emotions felt from reading a hand-written card or note. I promise you that those emotions are more intense than from an e-mail or text. This crosses generations. Young or old, we are all people.
The whole new vs. traditional media argument is a farce. It’s a false argument. One does not replace the other but, used wisely, augments and supports the other. Use social media as a tool and not the solution. You may use different tools to complete a job, but your rarely use only one tool. If you don’t have all the tools, you cannot complete the job. Use all your tools.
For a free special report titled “5 Major Social Media Mistakes and How They Hurt Your Business” send me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the title “5 Major Social Media Mistakes” in the subject line.