2016 is the year when we stop talking about social media.
I have been wanting to say this for at least two years now, but I figured it was still fair to give people a chance to give social media a chance. Well, time’s up. If you don’t understand social media by now, you either don’t see the need for it in your life, or you choose not to pay attention to the impact it’s had on society. That’s ok, it’s your choice.
Pen and Paper
Every time I see yet another invitation to an event to talk about social media, I roll my eyes and think: “Great! Are we going to discuss the importance of reading and writing, too?” Social Media is a tool, it is like pen and paper. It is meaningless if you have nothing to share. Talking about the mechanical workings of social media apps takes value away from the conversations we are actually trying to have. Worse yet, talking about “tips and tricks” for social media usage makes it sound like the publisher is laying a trap for the reader. Focus on the message instead. Use your platform to help you reach as many people as possible, but deliver content of value. Above all: Listen! Ask questions, and stand-by for the answer. Be there. Avoid scheduling posts.
What's happening today?
I want to hear from you. pic.twitter.com/fEpLgrnkYG
— Silvia K. Spiva (@silviakspiva) October 14, 2015
By now, social media has evolved beyond written words to include my favorite aspect of all: #SocialVideo! What this means to me is that all those years I spent “building my audience” are paying off beautifully, because I can now actually have face-to-face conversations with like-minded friends around the world. We can see eye-to-eye, and hear each other’s voices thanks to apps like Blab, Periscope, Vine, and Instagram. Even Facebook is still around and focusing on video! My favorite kind of video is the one that is shared in real-time. This all makes social media sound like the futuristic video phones we always dreamed of when we were younger. Video, video, video!
Before I stop talking about social media, I want to remind you that the emphasis should always be on “social”. While all of us are happy to share the fruits of our labor, let’s avoid looking at our audience as buyers or consumers. Our friends are our friends. They will celebrate you. They will follow you. They will remember you. So pay attention to what they respond to and how. You don’t need a social media tool to tell you who your friends are.
Remember that time I tried to give up Twitter?
— Silvia K. Spiva (@silviakspiva) November 20, 2015