Tweak Your Biz » Management » Anti Social Media

Anti Social Media



Okay so social media has taken the business world by storm. Many of us have embraced Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Despite some mistakes along the way we have learned that social media is about engaging with our connections and offering them information and news of real value. Most of us have started to see a return in our time invested in social media – new clients, an increase in sales, job interviews, job offers etc.
However there is a concerning trend emerging out there.

Many social media enthusiasts have started to neglect their phones (traditional phones), email and even stopped visiting their clients face to face. A phone has become a tool to tweet, update Facebook and check emails rather than dial numbers. I have noticed it amongst my circle of contacts that certain connections are no longer calling me, but sending me messages via Facebook and Twitter. Now that is not a bad thing, but a phone call every now and again is nice to get. Social media is a really powerful tool that works best working alongside more traditional communication tools. What is the point of generating 20 new clients through social media activity if we lose 25 by neglecting to visit our existing customers and stop picking up the phone? Think of your social media activities as a very powerful tool capable of generating amazing results. And then remember that it is only one of many tools we must use in business or in our job search to get results.

Here’re three communication tools we may not be using enough in our business

Phone

It’s fast efficient and gets results, but many of us see the phone as a fearful object with pointy sharp teeth! I think many of us have got out of the routine of picking up the phone and talking to our customers. We are afraid that they might have a problem, complain or say no.  So we would rather wait days dancing around the issue and to receive an email instead. Very often the phone can speed up the process and avert a bigger problem from arising.  Like face to face meetings phone calls are vital in developing, nurturing a good business relationship.

Face To Face meetings

(Both from a formal boardroom meeting and a more informal get together)– Nothing builds and nurtures a business relationship more that face to face meetings.  People are far more likely to be upfront and honest with you when you are talking to them face to face. Also, you are far more likely to pick up “buying signals” or even identify a problem or concern talking to someone face to face. And it kind of goes without saying that we would rather do business with people we know and trust than a complete stranger, so the more we meet our customers face to face the stronger our bond will be.

Hard written letters and cards

(including – Thank you cards) – In a world flooded by emails and tweets, sometimes a traditional approach can get you noticed.  Ah yes Hallmark will love me for this, but forget your e-cards and start writing and mailing traditional cards. In August I identified a company that I really wanted to do business with. I found out the name of the decision maker I needed to talk to. I then called, emailed, faxed and tweeted the company to try to talk to him with no success whatsoever. Finally, I decided to send him a handwritten card – introducing myself and explaining why I would like to meet up with him. The card made it past the gatekeepers and 3 meetings later I have just verbally secured business with a top company for 2011.

Do you have any tips for us on other ways we can communicate with our clients? Do you think some people are investing too much of their time on social media? What are your thoughts?



The Author:

Greg is a Social Media trainer and workshop facilitator with the Digital Marketing Institute. He has also delivered lectures and short courses for leading organisations including SureSkills, Socialmedia.ie and The Michael Smurfit Business School. Greg also works with the Ahain Group as a Social Business Consultant. He believes that in order to make social media work for your business you must have a clear business goal, a clearly defined strategy and make sure that everything you do is measureable. Specialities include: Social Media Training | Personal Branding |Social Business Consultancy | Social Strategy Workshops | Interview Techniques | Psychometric Profiling | LinkedIn Training | Facebook Training | Twitter Training | Blogging | Online Video and You Tube Training | Emerging Social Media (Pinterest, Foursquare, Instagram, Google+ etc.) More information at: www.ahaingroup.com and www.careerscoach.ie http://www.careerscoach.ie

Add Your Comment

  • http://twitter.com/fredchannel Fred

    Agree mate. Haven’t done the hand written one yet but it’s definitely necessary to go out there and meet people face to face. I’m doing it all over again here in London. I know it’ll pay off.

  • http://www.btbtraining.com/blog Niall Devitt

    Great stuff Greg! I think a question always worth asking is how would this person like to be communicated with? I’ve was surprised recently that a number of people I had some engagement with online became awkward when I suggested conversing off-line. I would have thought that this was the point?

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Standing-out-in-a-Sea-of-Sameness/121653664553169?v=wall Dave Rothacker

    Right on Greg. My daughter began a handwritten card campaign in 2004, the year after she graduated from college. She sends cards St Pat’s day, Halloween and Christmas to people she initially met info interviewing and then once she got a job, to business associates. Over the years she’s received job offers, personal references, kept her name fresh in the minds and cultivated relationships.

    The cool thing about doing this is – most people do not and will not, so, You stand out.

    I love the concept of personal branding but I do not like the name. It’s become too synonymous with social media. Social media is just one way to accentuate one’s brand. When I’m online in search of Brand You knowledge, I gravitate to people who talk about the whole spectrum and especially offline activities.

  • Anonymous

    Spot on Greg. Picking up the phone is something I’m doing more of this year, in order to get employees bought into our project. So far it’s paying off. As it is not very easy to meet face to face, one of the projects I’m currently working on is trying to get colleagues to use web cams so that they can see each other when communicating. Unfortunately quite a few people are very resistant to this.

  • http://fastnetmedia.com Kathleen

    Great post, Greg. The handwritten note (particularly a thank-you note) can be surprisingly powerful, as it’s such a rarity today. Even a quick postcard can be very effective in keeping the client link strong.

    Mixing email/texting with the occasional phone call is definitely worthwhile. I’ve developed a habit of picking up the phone every Friday, calling clients with whom I have active projects. I can quickly summarize project status and generally check the temperature of the relationship. At the outset of the conversation, I always ask “Is this a good time to talk?”….they are usually responsive and even waiting for my call.

    Because everyone’s busy, many clients may prefer the asynchronous quality of email, and there’s the added feature of info documentation that you don’t get via phone. However, as humans we’ve communicated via voice for millennia, and it’s an invaluable way to stay connected and gauge the client’s true feelings and concerns. As clients are far-flung, face-to-face doesn’t play as big a role for me. And Frank is right: the Skype thing doesn’t yet appeal to many clients.

  • http://www.nextchapter.ie John Jordan

    We are singing off the same hymn sheet here Greg. In the rush to jump on the coat tails of Facebook, Twitter and all things Social Media, many basic and effective marketing strategies are being overlooked by businesses. It is for this reason that Next Chapter was created!

  • Anonymous

    Really appreciate the comment John. There is no doubt that traditional marketing strategies must be embraced and not ignored.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for your comments Kathleen. Many of my referrals and repeat business are generated by personal hand written thanks for the business cards:)

    I too find that most clients are open to phone calls (great point re asking “Is it a good time to talk?”). Maybe they are more open to talking than ever before as they are no longer fielding high volumes of sales calls.

    Just like Twitter and Facebook are not substitutes for Phone calls. It is important to note Phone calls are not substitutes for email and social media.

  • Anonymous

    Frank – Appreciate your comments. Glad you are picking up that phone and communicating. (You do a great job doing so online). Good luck getting your colleagues embracing their webcams. Changing habits take a bit of time.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for your comments Dave. There is no doubt that a handwritten card can help you stand out. Your card will have a much longer life span than email too. As I write this I am looking at a handwritten card I received from Anita at BizSugar received last March….still proudly sitting on my desk!

    I am a firm believer that in order to build an effective Personal Brand you must build a presence on and offline. That said I agree that many people only think online when they build their personal brand.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Niall and you are spot on. Online Veils do seem in certain cases to increase people’s confidence and very often they feel they will be “exposed” “found out” if they converse face to face.

  • Anonymous

    Get that handwriting going there Fred;) You have such a great natural ability to network and converse offline. You will have London eating out of your hand very soon.

  • http://www.e-newmedia.com Gmoloney

    Very good topic, as there is a fine line isn’t there! I believe it is simply all about balance.

  • Anonymous

    Great post Greg! I agree 100% that social media is just one of a box of tools, we always recommend that clients use a mix of traditional and new media. On a similar note, we moved offices a few months ago and our email was down for about a week so we had to use the phone more and d’you know what it worked so well for us we decided to incorporate the phone more into our own marketing efforts.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks. Great lesson for anyone in business – Next time your PC or Internet is down…Pick up the phone and start calling. Sure beats sitting at your desk getting frustrated.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for your comment. You are right it is all about getting the right balance. It is also important to note that everyone’s balance is different.

  • http://www.seefincoaching.com/blog Elaine Rogers

    Great post Greg,
    We could use Christmas this year to get back in connection with our customers and clients using cards – charity cards would be nice too :)

  • Anonymous

    You are right that Christmas is a perfect excuse to get the pen and paper out.

  • http://www.mja.ie Mary Jennings

    I agree Greg! It is so important not to depend on just one form of communication. I still love to get a card or letter in the post. We use thank you cardsall the time & people really appreciate it. There is a place for everything.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for your comment Mary.

  • Greg Canty Fuzion

    Well done Greg, great article. I agree with all of your sentiments and the one I love most is the handwritten card – it’s something that people rarely do today and as a result you can make a huge impact with a small and simple gesture. I wrote a piece about it recently myself
    http://gregcfuzion.wordpress.com/2010/10/14/small-gestures-that-make-a-huge-difference/
    Keep up the good work – these Greg guys are really clever!!

    Cheers,

    Greg

  • http://twitter.com/rodrigofante Rodrigo Fante

    I think is a great point, but you said:
    ” What is the point of generating 20 new clients through social media activity if we lose 25 by neglecting to visit our existing customers and stop picking up the phone?”

    Can you prove it? if not is just more speculation, your thoughts, nothing else.

  • Anonymous

    Rodrigo,Many thanks for your comment. ” What is the point of generating 20 new clients through social media activity if we lose 25 by neglecting to visit our existing customers and stop picking up the phone?” – It can be hard to put an exact figure onto the number of clients that may be lost by neglecting traditional forms of communication. That may will depend on what your business is, who your target market is and how best to engage with them. The point I wanted to make is that Social Media is an additional tool and not a subsitute to other forms of communication. If we neglect other more traditional forms of communication we will lose out on business.Greg

  • Anonymous

    Rodrigo,

    Many thanks for your comment.
    ” What is the point of generating 20 new clients through social media activity if we lose 25 by neglecting to visit our existing customers and stop picking up the phone?” – It can be hard to put an exact figure onto the number of clients that may be lost by neglecting traditional forms of communication. That may will depend on what your business is, who your target market is and how trThe point I wanted to make is that

  • Anonymous

    Thanks. Glad we are on the same wave length on the value and impact a hand written card. Many thanks for sharing your article. And you are so right about Greg’s being naturally clever. Lots of charm and charisma too!

  • http://bradleyaharmon.com Brad Harmon

    I find myself falling into this trap from time to time, Greg. It’s so easy for us to communicate through a medium with which we’re the most comfortable forgetting about our customer’s comfort zone. I’ve had some who only wished to be contacted by email, but others that were insulted if you sent them one. A successful client contact file should contain their preferred method of communication.nnThanks for reminding us to be a little anti-social media from time to time.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for your comment Brad. “A successful client contact file should contain their preferred method of communication.” – that is some sound advice. Thanks, Greg

  • http://www.tweakyourbiz.com Niall Devitt

    Hi Zuly, I think that there is lots of potential on Twitter with the right approach and there are some really good campaign examples, but as usual, it’s the larger businesses that are leading the way :(u00a0nnHere are 5 good examples fromu00a0@simplyzesty:twitteru00a0nhttp://www.simplyzesty.com/twitter/5-great-twitter-marketing-campaigns/nnWe’ve used Twitter to support our Sugartone competitions: u00a0http://tweakyourbiz.com/announcements/2010/08/24/hp-sugartone-making-your-business-amazing/nnAlso have you seen the #IRLday campaign fromu00a0@pocketnative:twitteru00a0u00a0 u00a0nhttp://tweakyourbiz.com/announcements/2011/04/25/irldayn

  • http://twitter.com/xcelbusiness Helen Cousins

    Thank you for some nice practical tips there Zuly.u00a0u00a0

  • http://twitter.com/ZulyGonz Zuly Gonzalez

    Thanks Katie! It’s funny how evenu00a0somethingu00a0like theu00a0wording of your tweet, which initially sounds so simple, can be a challenge. I struggled with that myself. I’m happy to know that my tips will prevent others from making the same mistakes I made. Good luck with your next contest! Let us know how it goes.

  • Anonymous

    u00a0Great post Zuly! I’ve tried a couple of contests with Twitter that were far from successful. I’ll definitely re-consult this post before the next one though.u00a0nnTotally agree with the importance of the wording – the difference between performing an action and not performing it is often the clear set of instructions preceding it. You’re examples provide a great template!nnCheersnDan

  • http://about.me/Lindeskog lyceum1776

    Congrats! I clicked on the ad and did the What Type Of Business Owner Are You? test. I am the hands on soloist at this moment! ;)

  • http://www.smartsolutions.ie/blog/ Elaine Rogers

    Congratulations TYB and Sage. It’s great having Beatrice on board also, as a long standing contributor to and supporter of Tweak Your Biz. Here’s to a great 2013.

  • Smallbiztrends

    Welcome, Sage! We are positively delighted to have you on board, especially with Beatrice as our contact. I look forward to visiting the Sage blog more frequently, now that we will see the Sage content front and center here at TYB!

    - Anita