I’m not passionate about social media; I’m passionate about people

Reaching out to listen and learn

Reaching out to listen and learn

I’ve been a bit of a Twitter addict lately, chatting away every chance I can with my new friends here in Greenville, and with people across the country who chit-chat about cars, sustainable practices and whatever happens to sound interesting. There are so many great ideas out there, and so many smart people.

Some people have looked to me for help with social media tools and plans. While this seems to make sense, I manage to throw people off when I tell them that maybe Twitter isn’t the best place to make connections. Whaaa?? Right. In fact, I manage to resist new technologies until there’s a really compelling reason to jump in. I resisted blogging for a very long time, even for client solutions.

It was great to watch the discussions for and against GM’s FastLane blog, and whether to use ghost writers, managing editors, or simply have Bob Lutz post and comment without moderation. In the end, it was a combination guest writers, Bob’s own words, an editor and moderators for comments that made FastLane as successful as it was. Sure, it worked for GM. But it wasn’t an all-inclusive solution. Even after a year, many interviews and a funny t-shirt, some still didn’t believe Lutz really sat down at a computer and typed his own words into a document that was posted to the blog mostly unedited. GM still needed to use traditional channels to reinforce its message. And that’s still true today. The people who buy GM cars aren’t necessarily reading blogs or following Twitter accounts.

And that’s okay. The idea is to open and manage as many lines of communication as you can. Listen and respond. Heck, chatter, too, if that’s what you need to do to get the conversation going.

You of all people know best where your fans are. Find your critics and give them as many ways as you can to let them voice their opinions. Social media is simply one way to get people talking. It’s the conversation, not the tool, that helps people open up.

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