Like many of you have probably already done or are in the process of doing I too am in the middle of thinking about my “business goals” for this New Year of 2K11. The funny thing (and this is of course up for interpretation) is that I can’t really think of anything crazy that I want to do majorly different this year. Sure there are things that can always be improved on (no one’s perfect -except my children of course), but overall I don’t have any major lofty goals to change or re-invent any of my businesses.
I thought about maybe focusing a little more on social media, but I realized that I’m really not that into social media for business. Before you start assuming the worst, I’m not, by any means, saying that social media doesn’t work. It’s crazy effective – when used properly (insert example here). It’s also crazy dangerous – when not used properly (Brett Favre penis scandal anyone?).
I use social media more in my personal life for communication purposes then I do for generating real business. I’m an admitted Facebook stalker, Twitter junkie and I’ve definitely dabbled my fair share with Foursquare check-ins and earned a few badges here and there, but for business… I just can’t get into the groove. I think I finally came to the conclusion as to why I don’t like it just this morning while conducting an intern interview – modesty.
The potential intern was asked why he came to us. He responded with the usual internish response as expected, but then he said something very honest and enlightening. “Everyone wonders what you guys do here and I guess there’s a shroud of secrecy around your company. You guys aren’t out there very much.” My gut reaction was “Oh shit. We are totally sucking hard at networking. We need to do better. I need to get to a downtown after 5- stat.” But after I settled myself and thought it through my calm, rational brain kicked in and said – remember why you don’t go to those events? Remember why you don’t participate? Remember the kind of people that do go to those events and what they are trying to achieve? And then I was good.
You see, not unlike real life networking events (which I made a priority to not attend a very long time ago) social media offers another medium for people to put their super desperate selves out there. They either need business, connections, friends or an escape from something I don’t want to get into. There are so many and I italicize with conviction here people, local businesses that are trying to be soooo tres global, important, and larger than life and to me I guess it comes across as slightly tacky and to be honest a little a lot bit sad.
As I stalk the social universe of the Interwebs I see so many businesses trying to be local cyber celebrities and I’m almost always left smugly smiling, but definitely without a doubt I’m left SMH. These people. They just love to toot toot their own fucking horns. And not just a little bit, or when there’s actually something valid and important to say, but all fucking day long. I mean these people are generating double digit tweets on a daily basis and they’re coming from everywhere. Auto generated, pre-canned, backwards, forwards, from the air, land, sea and toilet. Really. They do. And you know what- the only way I can sum up my feeling towards this overload of garbage is of course to relate it to fashion. Less is more people.
Ever heard of leaving a little something, something to the imagination? I mean take a look at celebrities for a near perfect example. The ones you hate and who generally really suck, with no talent to be seen other than tweeting sexed up pictures featuring their new ‘it bag’ are all publicity whores: Miley Cyrus, Lindsay Lohan, Eddie Cibrian. But then you take a look at the people that have maintained a level of privacy a.k.a. class and low and behold you are left with those that are genuinely good at what they do. They don’t need to stand on a cyber soap box to shout it to the world. These people let their work speak for itself, and they know that regular contributions to Twitter, Facebook and the likes are not going to make or break them. Natalie Portman, Johnny Depp in case you couldn’t think of any. And yes, I realize it’s much harder to think of the good ones.
So, I guess to sum it up, I would rather have my business seen as an Oscar worthy performer rather than a common bong smoking whore.
So there it is…for 2k11 I will continue to stick with my values of not allowing my business to stoop to the levels of dirty, shameless self-cyber promotion. I will also continue to stay clear of any and all involvement with boards, committees and the like related to networking and promotion.