social media relationship life raftWhen stories hit the press such as Facebook partnering with Bing, possible purchase of Twitter by Google, “social freak out” begins.  People start tweeting and retweeting worrying about their biz, their life and what on earth they would do without Twitter.

“Oh me, oh my, what if Facebook went bah bye”?

I can remember the early days of driving with my first Motorola mobile phone and how cool I thought I was. Even though it was the size of Texas I couldn’t have imagined my life without it.  I loved getting in my yellow Ford Escort with that 15 lb phone attached to my ear.

What was so cool about that crazy phone? It definitely wasn't how cool it looked.  Nope, it was about the connection. It enabled me to foster relationships with my friends, colleagues and corporate managers. I could make plans for Friday night, provide updates to management after the big customer visit, share information with colleagues and inspire my friends to enjoy their day.

The tools of today aren’t much different in reality. Yes, they are smaller. They do more.  They help us go faster and talk more.

However, at the end of the day, at the foundation, is people. Any social media platform should have a  foundation built on people, community and relationships.

What if there was nobody on the other end?  What if you didn’t have a community to inspire and connect with? What if nobody listened to you or cared what you had to say.

Facebook can and will morph. Twitter will become who knows what. Possibly a Twatter box (joking)?

The real question is, do you have a community listening today? Just because you have 100 – 150 people who “like” your Facebook page doesn’t mean they will jump ship with you when the tech storm comes and they need a life raft.

Chances are if you are not engaging authentically, inspiring your audiences with real content and don’t show a little social media love to those who do the same for you then you’ll be the last one hangin’ out on the platform when it dies.  Why? Because the technology and selling yourself might be all you focused on.

When you lose site of the reason you are using the platform, then those on the platform lose site of you and will care less what platform you are on anyway.

Focus on the core foundational elements of you and your business. Don’t focus on the tech! Focus on the people! Focus on your relationships. Focus on your content. For it will be your life raft when the tide changes, the technology morphs and it's time to move to another platform.

Build the best possible business with a differentiated service, product.  One that provides real value to your audiences and customers.

If you focus on only the tech then when the tech changes you’ll be left behind by your competitors who have focused on inspiring, connecting, communicating and building real relationships.

When you have a tribe, a community and an audience that cares what you have to say then the platform isn’t the focus. The words and the way you make them feel are what will draw them to you. It’s the relationship that will inspire them to choose your life raft and  join you on whatever Facebook may become.

6 Tips To Determine if Your Social Life Raft can Weather the Storm:

  1. Are you focusing too much on the technology of social media? Yes, we must learn, know, leverage and optimize the technology to meet business objectives and goals. However, don’t make the tech the focus.
  2. Will your relationships weather a storm of tech change? What if Facebook went away tomorrow? Would you have another way to communicate with your tribe and community? Are your relationships strong enough to carry them with the tides to the next social platform?
  3. Are you doing all you can possibly do to bring your audiences value? Be honest with yourself. People need to be nourished, not spammed. Will your life raft nourish them thru change? Are you providing them information to also roll with the tides?
  4. Are you connecting with people for the right reasons? Or are you focused on only the number of “likes” or Twitter followers? Do you focus more on filling your raft so you can “look cool” or are you focused on genuinely helping and connecting with people?
  5. Does your audience know and trust you? Pretty simple, would you get in a life raft with someone you didn’t know or trust?
  6. Are you authentic? Are you connecting with people authentically? Are you showing them the real you? Or are you a different person online than offline? You are one person, not two. People will see right thru your fake ways. Get real with yourself and your audience.