Your grandparents' generation had it right.
In the tight knit communities of yesteryear individual opinions resonated. Successful business communication was based on integrity, reputation, mutual respect and above all listening. Call it networking, if you must, but it was mostly being an awesome person.
It was also hard work, make no mistake, but it had its rewards.
We lost sight of these values in the one-way broadast era. In the social media revolution those tried and true old-school human relations principles are back on the front burner.
If you ignore the hype that surrounds the meteoric rise of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and the like, you’ll see that the truly effective communication isn’t all that different today than it was a century ago.
Social networks are, first and foremost, communities of individual people. As a representative of a business you get no special privilege when entering those communities. You need tact. You have to learn how the community operates and how to discover your place among it. This is about etiquette, not advertising.
For those willing to put in the hard work that building relationships requires, online communities can reap rewards. The effort you put towards engaging as a genuine human being can level the playing field between a big brand and a small businessperson. Sweat equity matters here, and a strategy is nothing if it's not long term and consistent.
Want to spend some time with us discussing social media absolutely free? Come out to Social Media Club Niagara! We meet monthly and encourage all skill levels to come out and share.
At Upper Rapids we like to consider ourselves social media educators.
When we consult with a business looking to get their feet wet with social networks, video, blogging and other emerging forms online engagement, we work to teach you how to do it yourself.
We truly believe that nobody can truly speak authoritatively on behalf of your brand but you, and we work with you to establish that voice. It's not our goal to "do it for you."
We train your decision makers and your front line staff to understand and embrace best practices to make your social media efforts cost effective, relevant and engaging. We set your team down the path of capturing fantastic content from your business every day. We develop the online tools used to get your message out. As you start down the social media path we monitor, advise and assist.
Think of us as the training wheels on your social media bike.