March 30, 2010 / in Social Media / by Mic Johnson
Hello everyone. This is Mic Johnson and I am contributing the post for our blog this week. As we interact with clients, prospects, articles and blogs, the word “FEAR” keeps coming up when talking about the reluctance people and companies have as they figure out how, and when, they will engage in social media.
The question we keep asking is: What are you so afraid of?
Social media is a way to connect with people… customers, prospects, colleagues, old friends, new friends….in a way we’ve never been able to before. If done right, it’s the quickest way to develop a deeper connection with a person or brand. You learn more about a person or company and see if you are interested in taking your relationship to the next level….or finding a partner that better fits your needs. Spend a few minutes on a profile, or fan page, or reading a blog…and soon after you understand a lot more about the person or company you are engaging with…at least as much as they are willing to share.
Our belief is that the fear comes from the fact that it is virtually impossible to consistently be anything other than your authentic self when engaging social media. If you project something that isn’t who you are…or who your company is….you will get called on it…and quickly. And is that really such a bad thing?
If you, as a person or an organization, aren’t being true to yourself, then how can you be true to your customers? How can you expect them to believe in you? If you do something wrong, acknowledge it, fix it, and move on. It’s really not as hard as you think. And it’s certainly easier than continuing to try to mask who you really are or who you want people to think you are. Your online brand, as an individual or as an organization, should be a true and honest representation of who you are. Organizations that embrace this will separate themselves from their competition.
We have not yet met someone that doesn’t want to know the truth about a person or company they are involved with. Most people want to know that the people and companies they interact with actually care about them and are engaging with them from an authentic place. Social media is blasting through the walls of political correct-stuffiness and forcing people and companies to once again embrace who they are…who their authentic self is….what the company culture really is…..how they really view themselves…how they view their customers….and then projecting that truth to the rest of the world to consume as they wish. It’s a beautiful thing.
Say goodbye to fear and embrace social media as an opportunity for you to wake up each day knowing that what you are putting out there is who you really are… what your company stands for… and people can take it or leave it. If they do the latter, that’s ok, you probably wouldn’t have had a productive relationship. Put your fears aside and embrace social media as a way for you to authentically brand yourself or your organization.
The only thing you have to fear is fear itself! Are you being authentic in your social media engagement? Other thoughts? Tell us what you think!