Social Media: the New Wave Tsunami by Guest Author Chanty Lang-Vermaas

(This post comes from my first ever guest writer,  Chanty Lang-Vermaas.  She lives in Perth, Australia and offered to write this article as a reply to my recent post: Dear Boomers: Twitter Works Your Just Not Doing It Right. I met her on Twitter.   Small world, eh?)

It only takes one Tsunami to a level Giant

As a baby boomer I find some of my generation are being left behind on the social media scale, stating all too often how complicated it is to understand, thus some are unwilling to go surfing outside the bay because they feel its beyond their reach or comprehension.

Whilst I can relate to that, it doesn’t however allow me to stretch myself beyond my own shoreline; so being unafraid to wander beyond the wading pool myself, I lunged forward, head on in to the breaking waves of what I like to call the ‘New Wave Tsunami’. This unstoppable wave is of course now led by our Gen Y’ers, and is thus followed by anyone trying to keep up with these very business social savvy technological forward thinkers.

I love the Gen Y’ers (I have two of them myself) I call them frontier builders, unlike my generation, they’re not about machines running on auto pilot, but rather form their thinking based more on ‘building business relationships’ and not just in doing business. To Gen Y’ers it’s not all about how much they earn, as it is about how many relationships they can develop in the process of doing business, thus their income becomes a bi-product of that

I swear I thought everyone knew about Social Media, however, I was proven wrong.

I actually had a debate with a client of mine the other day, about the value of social media and how it has opened up the world of e-commerce and business everywhere. He disagreed fervently at first, (this came from someone who truly thought he was a forward thinker). After calling him a dinosaur, brave girl that I was, he narrowed his brow and said ok then, prove it to me, was he kidding? So I did!

I showed him what was actually happening out there in the ‘real’ world with all the social media formats available, using my own links to all my sites as an example; he was floored to say the least. He was starting to look more like a stunned mullet washed up on a foreign shoreline, then the CEO of his company. Where has he been I was thinking? And so, I lead him through the wonderland of the tsunami that is social media. We talked in depth; it didn’t take much convincing after that to get him to hire a new Gen Y staff member to blog away on all the sites he thought would benefit his company.  I finally got thru to him, social media not only had value, it was imperative to his company’s survival!

When I left, he was salivating!!

I told him I’d write about this in my next company blog, he smiled and said; be kind when you do it Chanty, and so I have. He’ll be reading this when it’s posted.

If you are one of the few (like my client) who thinks engaging in social media won’t add to your profit line, then please, let me be the first to congratulate you on holding fast to your dinosaurian roots laying embedded in the reef.

Social Media is all about communication; it gives you more coverage for fewer dollars spent with more profits in the coffers, the eventual selling point to my client.

Social Media has helped me enormously in looking for and providing insight and understanding businesses, it has assisted me in building the following:

·Trust: The most important starting point for any business. It takes time for some people to trust you on an individual level or as a company; some will trust their gut instinct and others will dissect you like a lab rat. This is where social media out shines anything else, its fast, thorough and immediate. It allows people get to see what you’re thinking, how you present yourself and how you handle yourself when communicating to the wider community. Being seen is being heard.

Remember the golden rule of trust, “People buy people before they buy your product.”

My personal rule is to build a foundation of trust with any ‘potential’ clients. I prefer to work with people who have an open mind, it’s far more rewarding for both of us. However, I am pretty picky with who I want to work with therefore, I am no different to my clients in that regard. I have actually turned clients away who come seeking me out, simply because I could tell their mindset isn’t open to change. I’m neither into wasting my time nor launching myself unnecessarily head first into a coral reef.

· Communication: The right form of communication builds bridges, not dams, and is a priceless extension of you and your company’s values. Adding your website and providing valuable links (your own or a reference link to another) is a great communication tool and is smart thinking, providing you with a platform to publish your views and get your ideas out there. Social media is a powerful tool for communicating, especially so when you contribute to another’s; it builds credibility. Communication isn’t just about using your vocal cords; it’s about using your awareness on all levels and using it ferociously. I also use Skype to have meetings with my clients, for collaborations and for radio interviews with great success.

· Networking: If you’re not networking, you’re not working your net wisely. Networking one to one isn’t always possible these days, what with family commitments, deadlines, lofty workloads or travelling for business, social networking in person isn’t always a viable proposition to us all, this is where social media works brilliantly. Placing an article or blog onto your website helps you to get exposure without the interruption of unnecessary meetings. All forms of social media open doors to communities far beyond our own corridors. By becoming a part of this ‘new wave tsunami’ which isn’t really new, allows us the chance to comment on, add value to or bring insight onto the table of another, and visa versa. Blogging adds value.

As a relative novice in this field I am now discovering the joys of surfing on this New Wave Tsunami and in doing so I am connecting to great businesses and individuals in the process.

Of course, time spent on the Internet cannot replace the fundamental human need for physical bonding, but if you’re not making use of Social Media then you’re certainly missing out on opportunities.

Time to venture into the Tsunami, until next time swim hard and stay strong

Chanty

Extra information is available via these reference Links below on Social Media and Stats:

http://adriandayton.com/2009/06/dear-boomers-twitter-works-your-just-not-doing-it-right/

http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2008/08/Social_Networking_World_Wide

http://mashable.com/2008/08/28/how-to-find-statistics-on-social-media/

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