Don’t Assume – Connect the Dots

dotsYou might’ve read the headlines just last week: “3 Face Charges in Social Media Scam.” According to the Suffolk County district attorney, three men used the lure of a social media startup, promising “the next big social media platform” to swindle over $5 million from unsuspecting investors.

How could such a thing happen? Who would invest their money in something they know nothing about? Is social media the culprit?

Social media is now part of all of our daily lives, whether we’re conscious of it or not. It dictates what’s reported on major TV and cable news channels and also in newspapers, and it supplies the seeds for what people talk about at work and among friends. Just look at the recent presidential election – entire campaigns were built around it. But unfortunately, far too many people just don’t have a clue about what it really is.

Social media remains one of the least understood forms of media.  Go ahead, just ask someone, ‘what is social media?’ and the term conjures up such a wide range of answers. Sadly, like most financial rip-offs, it’s the innocent, trusting, and often, ignorant bystander that gets the brunt of the misdeed.

But many business executives and owners are in the same boat. So many people today know social media is big and important, but in many instances, that’s about all they really know. Sounds pretty ridiculous. But just think. Because social media is both so widespread but so mysterious, so easy to use but so difficult to understand, so often spoken about but only in broad, conceptual ways, it seems to be today’s equivalent of the Internet’s appearance in the early 1990s when many folks considered it just a fad.

What to do? Don’t take it for granted that people know what you’re talking about. Don’t begin by speaking of a social media program, or a social media plan. First talk about the desired results. Help people gain a line-of-sight from what they want to achieve to the appropriate communication platforms, including social media. When Amazon debuted, it wasn’t about using the Internet, it was all about providing convenience. As experts with social media, you can help people in big ways by connecting the dots.

You wouldn’t expect people to blindly invest their life savings in the next-big newspaper, or the next-big radio, or TV. But until social media is more commonly understood, we all have to be dot-connectors.

If you haven’t read the Long Island Business News article yet, you can CLICK HERE. 

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The Social Media Association empowers, informs, and inspires individuals and organizations to maximize the potential of social and digital media.