Social Media as Personal Journaling or Desperate Need for Friends

August 9, 2010 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Marketing Communications 

By Susan Long-Molnar, President, Managing Communications Consulting

You look on your Facebook Wall and realize that somebody has taken up a lot of it with Farmville requests. Even worse, people you barely know personally have just shared their anger over some relationship gone bad or expressed something really inappropriate about their employer without “counting to ten”.

When I grew up, we had diaries…with keys. You could banter away about your day. Share the good and the ugly, in writing, and reread it as much as you wanted, often gaining a new perspective. It seems that some social media has become social journaling. There is something that feels good when we share with people we often don’t see, maybe once a month, and that we don’t even socialize with on a regular basis about the dinner out, our opinions on the outcome of a game or that we stayed at the beach all day. I think Generation Y has created the most valuable source imaginable for finding people to hang out with and bring a bar or concert more people than they could get from any advertising, On the other hand, sharing that someone has really disappointed us or that we are sick of people, leaves people of the details, free to imagine them, or worse, develop a perception which is not so favorable. That kind of communications can be very bad for business or finding a job.

What I typically hear from some clients or business associates is that it all seems a waste of time. I can see why they often have this reaction. How do we spend our time online? You have heard the old saying “what you think about the most is what you will become.” How often do you communicate your values and your goals?

It is not the end-all for building strategic relationships, but it certainly can be effective when you set goals for how you will use your pages. Are you using it to connect with people you don’t have time to call or meet with regularly? Are you hoping that you will build more referrals from your efforts? Do you want your referral sources and clients to get to know you better? Will you share details, news, and events about your business as a valuable media source? Can you build credibility by letting people know how you think, how you react to situations, how you have solved business issues? Can you expand your market by getting connected to people within a particular market segment?

Watch for a blog soon on how to Avoid Wasting Time Blogging and Socializing Online.
I would love for you to share how you have reduced your time online and still maintained a strong presence.

How to Communicate with Gen Y

By James Applebach, PR Associate

In our ever changing media landscape, the people who are on top of trends in communication are usually on the younger side (geeks are an exception). As Generation Y embraces each new social networking invention (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Skype, etc.) they are further alienated from the reach of traditional media. After all, any one person can only pay attention to one colorful box with flashing lights at a time.

We want to reach this audience, but how? You need to join the conversation. Start by learning about your social networking tool of choice, Facebook, for example. Run a Google search on it to get a feel for how it works. Then, visit the website for instructions on how to get started. If you are having trouble getting up and running, try asking your geek, or the nearest tech-savvy young person, to help get you established. 

Use your new-found online confidence to inform your audience about news in your organization, events and other interesting tidbits. You may even venture out even further and create an account for yourself on your chosen social network.

But remember: No matter how comfortable you get with Facebook or Twitter, there are just some things we’d rather not know and transparency – i.e. the truth – will build solid relationships.