Why are so many businesses stuck at Social Media 101?

Click here if you can’t see my interview with Paul Gillin.

Are businesses ready for the post-social media era?

“Yes” says the social media echo chamber.

“No” says author and educator Paul Gillin.

Paul has taught thousands of students at dozens of large companies over the years and he said most of them are still figuring out how to set up a Twitter account. Why are businesses stuck on social media 101? We explore this topic in this short video interview, as well as …

  • Which category of companies are most likely to still be at “square one.”
  • Commentary on the “vast layer of small businesses” that have no idea how these tools work.
  • Why it’s not just about content marketing … it’s about concentrating your resources intelligently.
  • Paul’s thoughts on Content Shock and the challenges of cutting through the noise.

I hope you’ll enjoy this provocative discussion and leave your thoughts in the comment section. Are you seeing the same thing?

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  • I love this kind of discussion. Post Social Media era? We’re all just in the very beginnings of the Social Media era. This thing has barely started. IMO, it will evolve and change over generations. One of the key indicators of this was clearly stated in Paul’s plumbing convention reference. Contrary to the Echo Chamber belief, most people are still not really engaged commercially (or even personally) in Social Media. In fact, I’d argue that the vast majority of internet users have no idea what is really going on. This may be why many businesses still don’t “get it”. If their owners aren’t truly connected or educated about the reality, how can we expect them to connect their businesses?

    I believe one of the fundamental problems is the “Echo Chamber” itself (yes, us). If we are talking to someone about Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin blah, blah……..and you hear something like “I don’t use those, at least for business”, then you have a user who doesn’t understand “Social Media”. We hear this from business executives all the time, very few actually “get it” because WE are doing a poor job of explaining what it really is.

    Next time you buy a car, book a hotel or (per Paul’s example) find a plumber fast because your sink is overflowing, please try to make your purchase decision on initially on references from your Twitter followers or Facebook friends. Once you do, you’ll quickly understand the value of social media, what the reality is, where the commercially valuable discussions are happening and how to engage in a way that will help a specific business. I believe that once businesses (and their management) understand that and the overall mix, they’ll likely become more engaged.

    But please, please do not believe for a second that we are approaching “Post” social media or anywhere close to it.

  • “The people that made the money in the gold rush were the people who sold the picks and shovels.” – What a great analogy and way to express the need for training and education about the basics in Social Media and SEO.

    There is such a need for education and I share the observation that the vast majority of companies don’t understand what’s going on. In some cases they have just enough information to be dangerous, and that may be an even worse thing than complete unawareness.

    I find that even personally, I can’t keep up with all of the changes and bazillions of new tools and ways to “use” social media to build a brand and promote my business.

    Loved the interview and the topic – thanks for another great share Mark!

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  • Great comment Steve.

  • Glad you enjoyed it Beth. Thanks for letting me know!

  • I respect both of you so I listened through the whole thing — but it was long. Paul nailed it in the final minute when he alluded to Techcrunch etc and the need for simplicity over complexity.

    But, back to your question Mark: The reason why businesses are stuck at social media is because there is so much noise out there. Everyone is saying something, sometimes different things: do this, do that.

    Last night I met an author struggling to create her Facebook page. I asked her why she was doing it and she said she was expected to do it. I looked closer and observed she had created a profile and not a page. Suffice to say I gave her my card so maybe she’ll contact me for help.

  • I think hype almost always trumps critical thinking, at least that seems to be the pattern. Hopefully your friend will listen to you : )

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