I have been struggling with this question mostly because of what I have been witnessing in my area where I live. I know a great many people who love building community, they like to build things that make the world a better place. I also see and know those who do the opposite.
I think we should all ask ourselves this question, maybe everyday. When I get up in the morning, the first thing I do is say, Thank You Jesus. Why, I woke up, I got another day, I get to be useful to those around me. I love helping people, which why I do what I do, workshops, public speaking, think-tank sessions, I love asking questions, I love the creative process. Helping others is a cornerstone to building community, building others up, speaking positively about people, helping solve problems, it’s a fun way to live don’t you think? Even helping your competitors, yep, there I said it. Helping those who are in competition with you or your business is a great way to add more value to not only what you do, but to who you are.
Recently, I have noticed a few so called businesses bashing and calling people down in public, is that really what’s in their hearts? There is a person, with a website called The Valley Voice located in Chilliwack, BC, they fancy themselves kind of a news source or a Newspaper. I have yet to see them say anything positive about anyone, in fact, all they do is speak poorly of others in their community, and in other communities close by. It doesn’t matter who they are, yes even I have been attacked by them, and they have no idea who I am! So they would fall under the category of Tearing Down A Community. If you don’t provide them with the answer they like, with the information they want, they immediately start bashing you in public, and here online. Tell this wasn’t in the business plan from the get go, because I can’t imagine anyone wanting to talk to them or work with them if this is the model they have chosen. It would appear that they are about drawing attention to themselves by being extreme in controversy. I get the feeling they wake up every day wondering what dirt they can dig up for the purposes of drawing attention to themselves. It disappointing, it’s rude, and its extremely unprofessional in my humble opinion.
Then I see others in the community’s around me doing awesome things, helping people, raising funds for charities, actually doing something that makes living worthwhile. Imagine that?
So I’m curious, do you build community, or do you tear it apart? Are you a builder or a destroyer?
I know I sound naive but, I would rather be on the builder side, I would rather The Valley Voice just kept their mouth shut. But I can’t control that, they would scream the freedom of speech defense, so my world has an Asshole to deal with. At some point this person and his team will be avoided by it’s community for fear of being aligned with a person or organization that tears down it’s community, and the people in it. The Internet has made it possible for us to say what we want and not have to pay a price, we can hide, but that’s changing, we are going back to small town rules, where word of mouth is gold. Your legacy will be determined by others, what you do and what you say will create that legacy, and those around you will determine your worth in light of it.
The Future Of Business will be built by those who value people, who want a better world to live in, want better ways to accomplish this thing called life. My hat is off to you, especially if that’s you.
So I beg you, be a builder, lift those up around you even if you disagree with them, maybe you don’t even like them, speak in positive terms anyway.You will be happier for it. If you are going to criticize, at the very least offer a solution or another option.
- Community Only Means Something If You Keep It Warm (chrisbrogan.com)
- We Need The Positive Impact Of Builders Not The Destructive Nature Of Destroyers (pastorpaulvbsblog.blogspot.com)
- Real Estate Agents, Politicians & Social Media GURUS (owengreaves.com)
First a disclaimer, I am in no way claiming I have cornered the market on Social Media Networks, I happen to use them for my business. I’m also generalizing, you can find many that don’t suffer from the problems I rant about below. The three sectors, niches or whatever you want to call them, all three have something in common. They don’t know how to listen, nor do they know what their constituents want. All three claim to know that building relationships is paramount. All three claim to understand how to use Social Media Networks, but have been failing miserably. So what’s wrong?
Let’s start with a short story. I attended a MeetUp some 30 minutes down the freeway from me, I got there a little late, but as I walked in, I was introduced and then promptly put on the spot. I was asked, what top tip would I give a person or business in using Social Media. I had to stop and think for a nanosecond, and blurted out two things, one was to listen, and the other was to pay attention to the bigger picture. Now I can hear most of you Social Media Experts cringing, but I don’t mean what you think I mean.
The listening part, and the paying attention part are not separate, they are tied together. If you are a business, and you are just starting to dip your toe into the Social Media Networks, there are a few things you should do before you even attempt to listen or pay attention. But I was put on the spot, but I did clarify what I mean’t to ensure there was no confusion.
One of the first things I did, was write down some objectives, outcomes, before I even setup any kind of listening system. I wanted to know up front what I wanted from this exercise, before I began the listening, I also wanted to collect data from a higher level. I wanted a 50,000 foot view of what I was looking at, I wanted to see patterns and trends. But I’m getting sidetracked.
Now let’s get back to the real reason I’m writing this rant.
After the MeetUp was over, a small group of us went out to a local eatery for some chit chat and finger food. A funny thing happened while eating, I was noticing some tweets from all three of these sectors or groups, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. And these tweets were being done by people I know, people I have talked to on the topic, and thought they had a grip on things from my perspective. Afterall, this is all from my perspective, which means you can disagree, and it’s also subject to change without notice : )
REAL ESTATE AGENTS
If you talk to any Real Estate Agent, they will tell you they understand or have been coached by someone who claimed to understand, ya you know who you are. If these agents even remotely listened in anyway shape or form, they would know that posting every frigging listing on Twitter, FaceBook or what have you, is not what the consumer, the person(s) looking, or wanting to buy expects from them. I mean really, is that what you Agents think, really? A blast of 6 to 9 Tweets or Updates, all listings, tell me I’m completely off base here, I triple dog dare ya. I work with enough agents to tell you, some get it right, but very few do. If spamming 3 to 6 listings is building a relationship, then you clearly don’t know how to do it. But wait, if you ask a Real Estate Agent what’s the best part of what they do, it’s the relationships they build, it’s the most important part of being successful in the business. Is it possible? Are Real Estate Agents that out of touch? It would appear that they haven’t learned or figured out how to take relationship building into the digital realm.
Here is another group of people that seems to miss the listening part, maybe it’s the asking part. We have an election happening in my province and or community, it’s always a tenuous time. I was meeting with someone who is handling Social Media for a person running for city council here. They wanted to know what I thought, so I told them. Most people don’t follow politics that closely, if they did, voter turnouts would be at all time high’s and the world would be a happy place right? The truth is, politicians are no longer trusted, just like bank managers and the like, why? All they want is your vote, they don’t really want to know what you want, they don’t really want know your problem, they have their own agenda already.
I did say this, if you want to get votes, connect with your constituents, keep things simple, in such a manner in which they can understand what you are saying and asking. In simple terms, answer the damn question(s). I also said, asking broad global questions only tells your constituents you think they’re stupid. There is always a small percentage of people who enjoy or even understand the global questions, but most don’t. The average person wants to know what you are going to do for them. Don’t ask me broad questions like, What’s your vision of (enter name of city here) 2, 5, 10 years from now? I don’t know where my next pay cheque or meal is coming from, and you’re asking me about the vision of a city? Is that what your constituents said they wanted? I want to know what your vision is, not mine, you tell me and I’ll decide if it makes any sense. Then I’ll vote accordingly.
Anyway, it would be to a politicians advantage to keep things simple and bite sized, so the average person can chew on it and actually provide a proper response. If politicians are listening, or asking, then why does it appear they all ask the same type of questions? Because it works, probably not, it’s because people can’t and won’t answer broad global questions. So the politician gets elected with a false sense of security, and can’t figure out why the people at large aren’t happy…it’s because they didn’t listen and pay attention in the first place.
SOCIAL MEDIA GURUS
You know who you are, you need to stop pretending you understand the larger picture of what all these Social Media Networks means to the business world at large. No one does! There are some common practices now, but just now. Social Networks have only been around a short while on the Internet, there is too much to know, and too much to understand for anyone person to claim they are an Expert or GURU. And I’m certain most don’t fully understand ROI, and the global effect on human behaviour in these circles. I can only count on one hand how many people I trust to tell me about what’s going on, how is it that the plethora of Consultants, GURUS and Social Media Experts have miraculously figured it out for all of us? I think not.
As you can see I’m barely scratching the surface here, the truth is, these three sectors are only three, and it’s not all there fault. But it’s mostly the snake oil salesman called a Social Media GURU / Expert, all in the name of making a buck. Or worse yet, to expand an already out of control ego. It is and always will be a Buyer Beware world, find people you know and trust, then ask them who to seek out for sound information and direction.
Good luck, and please do leave your comments, I love hearing from you whether you agree or not.
- The Future Of Business – Social Is A Feature Not A Platform (owengreaves.com)
- Community Only Means Something If You Keep It Warm (chrisbrogan.com)
- The Future Of Business – Fight Off The Mainstream Media & Big Business (owengreaves.com)