Do you need Social Media to be successful? In your job? As a business? The answer is, it depends.
I have a very close personal friend who is extraordinarily successful. By all accounts. He owns his own business. And owns his time. He is financially independent and works because he loves what he does, not because he has too. He also chooses who he works with and has built his business with partners, colleagues and clients he counts among his closest friends. He has terrific balance, perspective and never fails to take time to enjoy life and share it with those closest to him. And he is very generous with his time and resources.
He doesn’t have a Twitter, Facebook or Linked In Account. He doesn’t need them. Not in his business. And not in his personal life. His secret to success? Having some insider perspective, I’d say its the quality of his relationships. He loves the phone and face to face meetings. He is heavy on email but doesn’t let too much time pass without a real conversation among those in his circle of influence. Because that builds a much deeper connection than he could with 140 characters. That doesn’t interest him. What does is meaningful, trusted relationships that have reciprocal value for years. A more narrow universe of quality, coveted and nurtured relationships. He doesn’t want to be famous. He wants to be fulfilled. For him that is doing what he loves, with people he loves, his own way.
Conversely, I realize value from participating in my expanding social structure everyday. I am invested because it’s afforded me opportunity, insights and introductions that without participating I otherwise wouldn’t have received. But the secret to making it successful isn’t all that different. The secret is still in the relationships. And personally and professionally I have found tremendous value in and opportunity to expedite relationships that begin online, in my social universe and move beyond. And certainly for the work I do it keeps me in touch, informed and able to offer my own ideas related to how new tools and technology can impact a business.
Time is a precious resource and determining where to invest will usually impact your outcomes as a company or in your career. New tools and technology, when leveraged appropriately and efficiently can provide tremendous value. Every business and every individual needs to determine the opportunity cost of how and where to spend it. And that should get determined by staying aligned to your outcome objective. Begin with the end in mind. And that certainly applies for a Social Strategy as well.
The secret is the relationship.