Monday, April 11, 2011

Convince the Clueless About Social Media

Do you know someone who is clueless about the reality of work today?  Someone who just doesn't understand  the world is completely different from just a few short years ago?  Someone who has failed to realize that tens of millions of people are leveraging real time tools and new global networks to connect with other professionals to get their work done faster, better, and more effectively?

I know some too...and I'm embarrassed for them.

Get With The Program
How is this possible?  We all work with bright people who have built amazing organizations, made tough decisions, and have developed a level of expertise at the technical, clinical, or leadership level that is superior.  They've adapted to change over the years so they, and their companies, could remain viable.  So how is it that they "don't do social media?"  

Convince or Let It Go
This issue has bothered me enough that I've been reaching out to those in the social media world to get their take.  Although many folks believe that trying to convince non-users to jump on board could be a waste of time, I'm not so sure that I agree.  

When we are passionate about something in our lives, we work hard to ensure others understand the importance of the matter at hand.  We don't resign ourselves to the fact that simply because the other person doesn't understand the issue that we should just let it go.  Hell no!  Have you ever argued about politics, professional sports, homeowners association by-laws, policies at work, or anything else that happens in life?

Then why is social media off limits?  Well, it's not.

How About You
Call me a newbie, call me naive, or call me fired up.  But whatever you call me, don't accuse me of not appreciating the power of going social.  It's time for all of us to show our passion for social media, in the same way we show it in so many other areas of our lives.  Doesn't something that can be so powerful (Hosni Mubarak who?) deserve to have everyone involved.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic courtesy of Son Shine Music


  1. Timely post, but what if you’re the one who is clueless? I have been drug into social media kicking and screaming and I at times just feel overwhelmed. You need to have patience with some of us newbies, we are crawling as fast as we can.

  2. Right on. Well said, Jay. Ignorance is NOT bliss, and silence is NOT golden. The reality is that Social Media has already changed the way we work. Not getting with the program, as you put it, is the equivalent of putting fingers in your ears and going "la la la la la."

  3. Stephen Covey calls it "seek first to understand, then to be understood". They don't care about your latest and greatest technology until they believe you understand the problem they want solved, the pain they want alleviated.

    I have found peoples problems with social media rarely reflect on the activities or the tech itself. They wonder, is it worth learning this new thing? Will it really solve my problem? What does success look like? How long will it take?

    I get so excited explaining twitter to people, I sometimes have to back up, understand their business, and frame my solution in the context of their problems, otherwise, I am selling snow to eskimos.

    I agree with you. I think now that you and I have knowledge about the power of social media, we now have a responsibility to use that power for good. We must help people, at their own pace, to apply social media solutions to their prescient problems.

  4. It's hard to get started. My boss told me to get on Twitter in early 2010. And I can tell you: It's embarrassing to sign up and have no followers or contacts. And possibly more embarrassing when you have a grand total of 20 followers and you follow people with more than 800. So, until you're in it isn't so easy to get in.

  5. Amen brother... We need to evangelize these folks Jay. I wrote about this over at blogging4jobs last year.

  6. I'm just starting. Haven't seen it impact my bottom line yet, but know that I need to figure that part out. The point is, it's like - its owners and investors had faith, and now what a business. But you have to invest time and creativity to figure that out. Some people just can't see that opportunity! Articles like this, and people like you and the rest who posted comments (thank you!) help me keep the faith. Cheers to you all.

  7. Gary - It doesn't matter how you got here...just that you've arrived! Well done.

    Michael - love the visual!

    Tall Chris - Couldn't agree more. Making a positive impact is ultimately what it's all about.

    Laura - Good for you for jumping into the fray! The more you participate, the more connections (followers) you will have. Don't worry about the numbers though, it's the quality of the connections that matter most.

    Dave - Thanks bro...I'll check out your post!

    Stacey - Stay strong...networking, learning and growing are marathons, not sprints. Great to have you engaged!

  8. I used to evangelize social media, then I realized it didn't really work, Jay. What works better, in my opinion is that those of us finding value in social media need to domenstrate that value and share the why and how...

    I view social media as the greatest strategic opportunity for HR pros since .....well since, ever, but not all agree.

    We need to teach them and show them, and help them in getting past their fear and their protests...