Give Me Something I Can Use

In five years social media will make perfect sense, but right now it’s an all-out free-for-all. Much of it just adds to our already distraction filled existence. Time spent on Facebook, Twitter, etc., should be worthwhile. Give me information that provides perspective, or helps me live my life better. Don’t bore me with the narcissistic details of your life.

The problem is people use social media networks interchangeably, with no degree of separation between business and personal. They forget that in the process of representing themselves they are representing the organizations they work for (whether they realize it or not). Frankly, my opinions of some people and some companies have suffered due to the useless banter they put out there. On the other hand, when a business or businessperson shares something impressive, it elevates their profile in my mind.

For many, the experience with social media is increasingly becoming a love/hate relationship. For example, I love when Boulevard Brewing gives me and the rest of its Facebook fans an insider’s look at a new beer coming off the bottling line. It’s the opposite emotion when someone reports they’re standing in line at a movie or contemplating what wine to have with dinner, or when they sucker me in to a blog about their cat.

Maybe I’m part of a silent minority that doesn’t care what you just had for dinner or what concert you’re at right now. But there has to be more of us. Rather than tell us where you had dinner, talk about the restaurant, the service, if it’s kid friendly, a date night place, or somewhere to take a client or prospect. That helps us live better.

Most brands have yet to figure this all out. In the Boulevard example above, Boulevard Nation knew to look for the new beer on shelves in about a week. That makes sense. If I’m going to interrupt a person’s day, even for a second, I feel like I ought to have something worth sharing, something useful, something insightful. We shouldn’t Tweet just because we can. Too many others do, unfortunately.

Does this mean you and your company should shy away from social media? No. You need to develop a strategy and make sure you have something to say. Many organizations can use some help coming up with worthy content and managing how it’s shared.

Remember the rule cited by mothers and teachers everywhere: If you don’t have anything nice to say … ? The same idea applies to the social mediascape, but with a twist: If you don’t have anything worthwhile to say, don’t say anything at all.

— Angelo Trozzolo, President

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