Still Resisting Social Media as “just for teenagers”?

This week I had lunch with a friend of mine who is in his early 30s.  I couldn’t believe it when he told me he wasn’t on Facebook and he wasn’t twittering!  Yup, that’s right, there is still at least one cool, hip, successful high-tech business person in Silicon Valley who is NOT hip-deep in these social networks.  He asked me what benefit they produced, which is kind of like asking which advertising results in sales.  Who knows!  I just know that I have to be swimming in this ocean if I want to catch any fish.  Watching from the beach just doesn’t cut it.

If you’re just playing, join whatever you fancy.  But if you’re in business, here’s my opinion on the bare minimum social media marketing you have to be experimenting with while the whole SMM craze shakes out into what it will become:

1.  Facebook – It’s not just for teenagers, and just because people use it for social reasons doesn’t mean businesses can ignore it.  One of my highest quality contacts in the business world responds promptly to Facebook requests, but never responds when I contact him via email.  You gotta transmit on the frequency people are willing to receive on.  Check out Kimberly Wiefling and Scrappy Women in Business if you want a glimpse into my Facebook world.

2. Linked In – It’s like Facebook for grown ups, and lots more professional credibility.  Kind of like a place to post your resume on line.  I rarely make use of the power of these professional connections because – well, if I want to talk with you I’ll just pick up the phone and call you – but if you haven’t done a great job of staying in touch with your network, Linked In can be a great way to reconnect.  I notice that I get a lot of connection requests from people just after they have been laid off.  Suddenly they want to connect . . . after years of not staying in touch.  I’m sure it’s about helping me land some consulting work, so of course I agree ; – )   Have a look at Scrappy Kimberly Wiefling for all of my grown up details.

3. Twitter – Although I still struggle to imagine how this might evolve into a highly valuable tool in the future, I’m enjoying posting relevant information to my followers, and blocking people who tell me when their cat rolls over.  Check out kwiefling and scrappywomen if you want to see what I am up to there.

4. Plaxo – I guess.  At least it automatically updates my “stream” there when I do a tweet.

5. Blogs – Yes, you have to write them, or write for someone else’s blog.  I hope someone is reading all of this, ’cause I just realized that I have written over 75 blog posts for a blog I co-founded with UCSC Silicon Valley. Imagine if I’d have spent all that time knitting, I could have had a lot of sweaters by now!  Check out for the whole irreverent pile of them.

6. MySpace – Yawn . . . I used to bother to update it after a tweet, but never saw any action that made it worth the couple of keystrokes to go there and post updates. Maybe that’s for a different crowd that I don’t run with.

7. Youtube – If BlendTec can increase sales by 500% through a lighthearted series of videos in which they blend precious objects, like an iPhone, I guess it’s worth a bit of time to put up a few videos.  Check out my “channel” here:

While we’re on the topic of video marketing, here are some terrific ones that I think are worth a look:

Nearsoft – One of the best 53 second videos explaining what a business does for their clients I’ve ever seen!

Cheetah Learning – Super-creative and entertaining advertising video that explains what they can do for you.  Why can’t all commercials be so enjoyable?!

Social Media Marketing isn’t just a trend or a phase we’re going through, it’s an evolving toolkit that is changing the way businesses interact with their customers.  If you’re in business and still sitting on the sidelines you’d better hire someone like my buddy Ken Chen to explain it to you or you’ll be left in the dust.  He’s helped me sort through the SMM jungle, and – although I’m still a hack – I’m miles ahead of someone without a Facebook page!

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  1. I agree. This phenomenon is not even strange to me anymore, just funny. Seems like some are saying the equivalent of, “I’m not going to use the phone or snail mail for business because … because people make prank phone calls and send junk mail.” But isn’t it ironic to use the web to discuss this 😀

  2. Yup, and based on the resistance corporations have to social media, I’m guessing that if email were invented today it would be forbidden by IT departments and executives everywhere!

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