For the last few weeks I have been working somewhere where there is no social media. So for weeks I have been deprived of things like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin that are the ones I am most connected to.
I realise that those much younger than me would wonder how I could possibly exist without these essential tools of the modern age! When the opportunity came to write a new blog I wondered what I could write about.
But strangely, I realised that I had not felt massively deprived over the last few weeks. As I thought about my dormant accounts I remembered the numbers of people that had linked up with me and had made no further contact.
I remembered the people on Twitter that offered me 10,000 contacts and the people that followed celebrities on social media just to be told that the celebrity was getting on a train or were sitting in a coffee shop!
And then, as I started to prepare for a seminar on entrepreneurship it hit me. I wrote down the phrase ‘people buy from people’. We talk about the fact that the written word gives only 7% of the message and that to get the whole message across we need to be facing each other.
And yet, too many businesses have hidden behind social media in the fond belief that they are somehow smarter than the oldies. In reality of course they are simply using a scattergun approach in the hope that a pellet will stick. They no little or nothing about the people they are firing at and yet they assume they will get a response.
I am not a total Luddite, and hence I realise that social media has a place within a total marketing mix. However, it is not the total solution and seems to me to be more like a mass leaflet drop where a few people may take out the coupon and put it on the side, but where others will simply bin it.
So how have I survived these last few weeks? Well, I have spent the weeks talking to people. I have got to know much more about my colleagues, I have learnt infinitely more about my clients and my days have been far more productive. Those that really needed to contact me have done so and I haven’t a clue which of my friends back home has had coffee with who.
So why not try it yourself, and even if you are so addicted that you cannot stop, make sure you see it for what it is and remember that ‘people buy from people’.