I have grown tired of trying to convince people of the value of social media. This excellent post by Liz Strauss explains why it’s OK to stop evangelizing.
Skepticism is definitely out there. I face it every week in my own professional and personal circles. I spend a lot of time explaining and rationalizing. Now I think my time is better spent on finding like-minded folks to connect and work with, instead of staying on the “convince and convert” treadmill.
Liz calls herself “the most influential non-celebrity blogger on the Internet,” and this is absolutely true. She is a terrific speaker and mentor to social media professionals and enthusiasts alike. (I met Liz at SXSW, though I doubt she would remember me.) I recently found a great post she wrote called Be a Magnet Not a Missionary. Here’s my favorite quote:
When we have an offer we believe in our bones that we can deliver with highest standards to the benefit of the people we serve, the folks who understand their needs and value what we offer will recognize it immediately. No conversion necessary.
This blog and my Facebook page do serve a missionary purpose, convincing people (hopefully) about what I know and can do with social media, marketing, and writing. But I’d prefer to be that magnet Liz describes—someone who “has a bond of trust that a missionary doesn’t have.” So I’ll keep plugging away here and work on attracting more like-minded people.
While some people say social media is a bubble that’s going to burst, most of us disagree. Individuals and organizations seem to be craving more contact all the time. In fact, social media has already begun the transition to just another method for communication, networking, sales, and fundraising. Or as one presenter at SXSW put it,
Social media isn’t a specific channel. It’s an overlay over everything else we do.
When it’s finally mainstream, you won’t hear terms like “social media evangelist” any more. Thank goodness.
Photo credit: Jim/dimland