Alright, I’m going out on a limb here… but what the heck.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the advent of social media – where it works, where it’s more hype than reality, and where there’s a lot of plain old “faking it until you make it” going on.
As many of you know, I was a reluctant convert to Twitter. I’m still not convinced it will be around forever – just witness the rise and fall of MySpace. But it’s certainly a factor right now, and downtown has seen some huge success stories thanks to Twitter and Facebook, most notably Big Truck Tacos, the Iguana Mexican Grill and Coop Ale.
What do the most successful business social media accounts have in common? They are all reflective of strong personalities – people actually running the business – creating and maintaining their own social media. There was no magic provided by a consultant, no person with 5,000 followers suddenly bringing fame and wealth to a client.
I know, this won’t be popular with some friends of mine in public relations who think big bucks are to be made with social media, either through seminars or representing clients on Twitter and Facebook. I’m sorry, but look at what we’ve seen to date – there is no magic. The best locally-owned businesses excel because they have an owner who is emotionally invested in that success – and they’re often out front, interacting with their customers. And that’s what we’ve seen with the Iguana Grill, Big Truck Tacos and Coop Ale. Why would social media be any different?