My new post at The Student Branding Blog is entitled “Facebook is Necessary.” It reflects my view that if you think of social media platforms only as marketing tools to sell your product and services, you are missing the big picture. I immerse myself in social media because I think it is a strategic imperative. Social media tools are revolutionizing the way people communicate with each other, and that has strategic implications for your business.
You need to learn what people are doing and why they are doing it so that you can leverage this learning in your business for competitive advantage. If you don’t learn this faster than your competitors, then the best you will ever be able to do is copy your competitors. That is a recipe for competitive parity.
You can’t learn social media unless you do it yourself. You have to get your finger on the pulse of what is going on if you ever hope to fully understand what people are doing and why they are doing it. I think it is a huge strategic mistake for you to keep this at arms length by either outsourcing it to an agency or worse yet ignoring it altogether.
I personally am not very fond of Facebook. But it is a HUGE phenomena right now. There is a reason why Facebook is exploding, and it is a strategic imperative that you try to understand what is going on.
As you operate on Facebook, keep these things in mind:
1. Operate as if you have no privacy. Don’t post anything, anytime, anywhere that you would not be comfortable with anyone seeing. As long as you operate with discretion, you have nothing to fear and everything to learn.
2. Use Facebook to build bridges, not walls. Work the room like you would a meeting of your local Chamber of Commerce. Never forget my point #1 – Facebook is not your living room.
3. Business is becoming increasingly social, so only hire digital citizens. I would never hire someone that did not have a Facebook presence and could demonstrate that they knew how to be professionally personal.
Social media platforms, including Facebook, are NOT toys. They are powerful tools for learning and communicating.
Facebook is necessary.