[tweetmeme]Imagine trying to explain the mechanics, and joys, of sex to someone who has just emerged from a nunnery or monastery?! It’s not going to go well is it? A series of explanations, descriptions and visuals probably wont help either as you try to articulate the real value, benefit and personal enrichment of partaking in the act of procreation.
“Why on earth would I want to do that??!” “Oh my god?!” “EEeeewww”
Ok, explaining the basics doesn’t work. So you move up a level. You know: to the senses, the higher level benefits. The increased sense of wellbeing. The sense of connectedness, fulfilment. Joy even.
But no. No way. Not a chance. In fact, the more you try and explain it, the weirder you sound. Until at some point you give up for fear this person is just not going to look at you in the same way ever again if you persist with this rather ridiculous notion.
And so to social media. In a recent attempt to try and explain the benefits of social media tools – business benefits mind you – I ended up in the same place. In the end I had to stop, as I was clearly getting nowhere.
Not that it’s been like that every time. I ask everyone I meet, especially the VP and Group level HR folk, about social media tools and at least two recent conversations have been very different. Difficult at first of course, but as you go through it, you can see the light going on inside the head. One even said to me “This is amazing, I never realised the potential. You could sell this you know, this knowledge!”
But alas, on the recent occasion that inspired this post, there was no such lightbulb moment. And as I reflected on the conversation some time later, I realised that getting social media is a lot like getting sex:
- You are either getting it or you are not
- You have to do it to really understand the benefit
- Many people just wade in and fumble around, thinking only of themselves – mostly men it seems!
- The more you do it the better it is
- Those that are not getting it stand out like a sore thumb
My advice to those who are not getting any: go get laid. Social media style, of course! 😉
Good point, well made, Gary. I’m getting to the point where I’ve given up evangelising social media. Unless I’m asked specifically about it, I don’t bring it up with strangers – maybe also a bit like sex.
Some people will take their own sweet time to come around, and it best that they do so willingly, of their own accord.
I wrote a blog about this just last week, entitled “Do You Get It Now?”. http://wp.me/pPAVC-8u
Sorry, I just realised I typed Gary instead of Gareth. Sorry about that.
I agree with your comments completely Stephen. I have spent the last year waxing lyrical about Social Media, its potential and why businesses MUST invest in it. In the early months this was all down to educating people – explaining to them this relatively new phenomenon and teaching them why it is of intrinsic value to them as individuals and also to businesses at large.
Whilst many have now taken this on board, embraced the media and LISTENED to the teaching / education / evangelising of the early days, it is now becoming more and more frustrating to ‘educate’. In line with Gareth’s point, I have friends and peers that still just DON’T GET IT – which Gareth is spot-on about.
You either get it or you don’t. The time for evangelising is over – we’ve made converts out of some sceptics – luddites that remain cannot be ‘forced’ to ‘get it’. Social Media, by its inherent nature, is social – it requires interaction and contribution. If people don’t ‘get it’, they won’t ‘do it’.
As Marketing / HR professionals, we just need to ensure that the Social Media love is spread in our own organisations – and leave the sceptics to a life of marketing celibacy!
To continue with the analogy! I find engaging properly in social media is a bit like prostitution. You really have to set out to sell yourself..
Leon, you have inspired my latest blog. http://wp.me/pPAVC-9k