The sheer raw beauty of Social Media is its ability to enhance how we communicate where we talk, listen, learn and develop. It’s rather sad to see so many businesses large and small mistake Social Media as a channel where they think shouting is how to be heard. If those very culprits understood how to share information and inspire people to learn they might realise the potential of Social Media
Rich or poor we all love getting something for free and on Social Media there’s all the free news, information, guidance, tips and tricks you can possibly find the time to consume.
If you want access to relevant, current and topical information then Social Media sites like Twitter and Facebook publish news quicker than traditional news channels. A recent Pew Research study found that 1/3 of U.S. adults’ access news via Facebook which demonstrates the shift in how people source and consume information.
The tragic Boston bombing springs to mind for me as I learned more from Twitter quicker than any news channel could offer. What’s the point in turning your TV on when you can access news and information whilst talking to your friends on Social Media?
Pick any industry in any country and I guarantee you that you’ll find free information on any topic you want to learn about. Therefore small businesses need to learn that by offering their time and knowledge freely to customers helps to build trust, credibility and relationships which are the first steps in winning new customers.
Change How You Think
Isolation is one of the most commonly cited problems of small businesses, particularly new start ups. The world is a big place and you’re only isolated if you choose to be, so change how you think and learn from different cultures and ways of thinking.
Connect with companies and people in your own industry in other countries. How do people in your industry solve common problems? How do their opinions differ from what you’ve learned in your own country? What do they do differently to achieve the success you crave?
Creativity and innovation are difficult to achieve if your approach and way of thinking is the same as all your local competitors. Your customers and competitors might not be in India, Italy or North America but what can you learn from their experiences and opinions?
How Do We Want to Learn?
How we learn as individuals is subjective – we learn at our own pace, digest information differently learning from a variety of methods. Some people absorb information by reading text, some via infographics, frameworks and videos.
Therefore if we understand that learning is subjective and people respond to a variety of teaching methods then small businesses should be poised to take advantage of this fact. Offer your audience a variety of methods to deliver that free information and guidance you share on Social Media. Be creative and offer video guides, podcasts, diagrams and images. Measure and listen to what your audience prefers and adapt how you communicate according to what your market demands.
If you’re the type of person who doesn’t use Social Media to source information or learn then there’s no place for you on Social Media. Communication involves listening and talking so less shouting and more listening leads to a greater understanding of how people use Social Media to source information and learn – you can’t teach until you’ve learned.