Do you remember the rotary telephone? Most likely you do not but I do. I also remember those nervous moments when I was summoning up the courage to call the high school crush and ask her out on a date. The ability to communicate and share thoughts with the world has certainly come a long way since sitting in my parents bedroom and staring at the phone.
Yesterday on Amazon I purchased several books, SEO Bible, YouTube for Business, Facebook Marketing. What was very absent in each book were the reasons why social media can actually work along with why it can also fail. It’s like making the phone the point of the above brief story.
From a practical perspective the core elements of how and why we wacky humans connect have not changed in generations. Each of us still would like to be of value, be listened to and feel that we are genuinely appreciated for our contributions. Social media tools won’t put an end to that. I believe however these tools can dramatically expand your ability to connect in wonderful human ways as well share with the world what a fool you really are. I guess we are all finally part of being on a reality show, but this one is actually life.
Schools should proceed with these tools with a human voice and speed. This is hardly a moment in history to repeat the language and using the old tools like those dreadful magazines. You know the ones that lead with the article on Graduation that is published in September, the Head of school tells you how perfect everything is and there is usually a nice description of students or alumni saving a village in the Far East.
If markets are indeed a conversation then lets start speaking with our markets, but speak to them as individuals. Don’t sit and stare at the phone and don’t let the tool replace the real you, if you sound like the old magazines you’re toast. If you are more interested in what you have to say then what your market has to share, stick with the magazine. That strategy is certainly alive and well. Study any school magazine and you will quickly experience “best practice” in not listening to the customers.
Jump into this messy business of building relationships, just don’t forget to bring you along with a real appreciation for what the person on the other end is thinking and feeling to the forefront.