The concept of “social media” is a difficult one for some folks to grasp. My wife (who up until recently wasn’t even part of the Facebook crowd) tells me all the time that I’m wasting my time with this stuff.
- Tweeting? Who cares… no one’s reading your stuff…
- Facebook? It’s nothing but noise…
- Blogging? Why are you keeping an online diary that no one reads?
I’ll admit that sometimes it’s pretty difficult to determine that VALUE of social networking (especially from a business perspective) but I recently had 3 concrete example of social media at work that I wanted to share.
#1 – FREE STUFF
I use an app on the iPhone called Foursquare which allows me to “check in” at locations around town. In addition to allowing my friends to see where I am and what I’m doing, Foursquare takes it one step further and has a game type feel to it where you gain points, “badges” (similar to achievements in the video game world) and “mayorships” (for checking in the most often in a given time period). Some establishments are now offering special coupons for their social media users and other still offer their mayor special privileges/products. Here’s a picture of a free appetizer I recently received for being the mayor at my local BW3. Something for nothing! Can’t beat it!
#2 – RECOGNITION
I was recently chosen to be part of the Twitter Twenty sponsored by Cleveland.com and the Plain Dealer. For those of you not familiar, the Twitter Twenty is a, “Group of twenty well-known local tweeps (people on Twitter) who will weigh in on different local issues. The Twitter Twenty’s comments on Twitter about the weekly topic will be featured online at: cleveland.com/twitter-twenty and will also be used in The Plain Dealer each Friday on page A-2.” That said, I was a t a meeting this morning with a potential vendor that I’d never met before. I was sitting in Starbucks waiting for him and realized that I have no idea what the guy looks like. After a few minutes of trepidation, a gentleman walked up to me and said, “Are you Greg? I recognize you from your Twitter Twenty profile”. A very cool experience to be sure.
#3 – REDEMPTION
A few weeks ago, I drove down to Progressive Field to buy my tickets for Opening Day for my beloved Cleveland Indians. About a week ago, I saw my brother at our folks house for Sunday dinner. He asked if I’d purchased tickets for the game and my heart sunk… I had, but I didn’t get him a ticket. Apparently I’d asked him 6 months ago if he wanted me to get him a ticket and then I’d completely forgotten about him. Worst…. Brother… Ever. I reached out to my social network (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) to see if anyone could help me. I had 3 seats and I needed 4 – to a sold out ballgame! What’s a guy to do? I was feeling like a complete failure until I saw this gem:
I was able to get 4 seats together and I’m THRILLED to say it was all because I was a “fan” of the Indians on Facebook.
When it boils down to it, social media is about connections and conversations. What you get out of it will be directly proportional to what you put into it. It’s not all freebies and giveaways, but it’s clear that the medium is here to stay. When you’re ready to dive in let us know if you’ve got any questions. We’d love to help!