Convince and Convert, Social Media Measurement, Social Media Strategy, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, The Now Revolution

11 Whys I’m a Social Media Addict

Connectivity

Social media brings me closer to people with whom I ordinarily would seldom interact. Family, friends, colleagues. As my co-author Amber Naslund put it once “with social media, my relationships aren’t bound by geography or circumstance.” Exactly.
11 whys i m a social media addict 11 Whys Im a Social Media Addict

Humanity

People always slam Twitter for people talking about “what they had for lunch” but the blending of the personal and professional is very attractive to me. I want to know what music you listen to, what you think is funny, why your cat is insane. When was the rule written that business had to be all-business? Life is so boring under those conditions.

Spontaneity

I love that I can interact with clients and friends at any time, from nearly any place. The ability to make or consume social media from an array of mobile devices increases the convenience factor (and the pressure on my wi-fi router) immensely.

Measurability

The reason I was originally a political campaign consultant (late 80s, early 90s), is the satisfying success metrics. You can’t get half elected. The day after an election, you’re either ebullient or morose. That’s what attracted me to online marketing initially, and why I made the jump to that career in the mid-90s. The tracking online (including social media) far outpaces what I had at my disposal when I was doing traditional marketing. The fuzzy numbers of TV, print, radio, outdoor and traditional PR drove me crazy. I like math and analysis and reality.

Transitory

There’s literally never a dull moment in social media. Every day is different, and significant changes occur on a near weekly basis. Facebook’s gyrations alone are enough to keep you on your toes. I love change. I thrive on it. I simply cannot imagine working in an industry where status quo was the norm. I understand the appeal of certainly, it’s just not my preference.

Personality

I am compelled by the fact that the bottom line objective of social media is to add human elements to companies that have acted like inhuman, robotic cyborgs for the past 40 years. The anthropomorphization of business is an interesting, satisfying challenge because it runs directly counter to what most businesspeople have been taught, and their corresponding comfort zone. Social media is fun because it’s hard.

Flexibility

There are no right answers in social media, just answers that are more likely to be correct. It’s a benefit, not a drawback that (despite what others might proclaim) there is no social media playbook that can taken off the shelf and executed in rote fashion for all companies. You are free to make your own reality and script your own success.

Inevitability

Sure, we all talk about Facebook and Twitter and YouTube. But the rise of social media isn’t about technology and tools, it’s about power and people. Social media gives us some measure of control over our relationships that have been largely fractured by our always-on society.

Every church, ad club, Rotary, Kiwanis, Elk, Moose etc organization in the U.S. is faced with declining membership, because who has the time for a 2-hour lunch any longer? Even in a recession, our economic productivity continues to climb. How is that possible? Because we are working faster, longer, and more intensely, and the time for friends and family falls by the wayside. And socia media also gives us power over brands in ways we’ve never enjoyed. Social media is word-of-mouth on steroids, and our ability to praise or punish brands with a few keystrokes is satisfying.

Technology

I’m a gadget guy. I love it. My favorite part of our new home in Bloomington, Indiana is the in-ceiling speakers throughout that I can manipulate with a hand-held Logitech Squeezebox controller, so I can pick any song from my iTunes library and play it in any room in three clicks. A love for software and hardware and figuring out how new stuff can change behavior is a handy attribute in the social media business.

Revolutionary

As we adopt social media to connect personally and with companies, businesses will need to respond. Business responded to the invention of the telephone, fax machine, FedEx, and email. But have businesses truly responded to the rise of social media? Largely, they have not.

That’s the premise of my new book with Amber Naslund, “The Now Revolution: 7 Moves to Transform Your Business with Speed, Smarts & Social Media.” It’s how companies need to change their culture, their people, their process, and their measuring sticks to succeed in real-time business.

Opportunity

I realize the gift you give me every day – the gift of your attention. I am incredibly fortunate to have readers and supporters that expose my work to a wider audience than most social media consultants enjoy. Your faith creates for me an opportunity to educate more and more marketers and the companies for which they work. I don’t take that opportunity lightly, and I hope I never take it for granted.

Why do you love social media?

(illustration by my friend Mark Smiciklas who writes a great blog with tons of cool info-graphics)

  • Pingback: 11 Whys I’m a Social Media Addict by @jaybaer « Simbeck-Hampson Consultancy

  • http://twitter.com/Chris_Eh_Young Chris Eh Young

    I have to say, I feel the same way. You touched on so many great points. The one that sticks out is about Twitter and just how many people don’t get it. Social media is just that, social. We would never go to a social event and only talk work. We talk about our kids, we talk about the weather, we talk about cars and music. This is how relationships take root and grow deeper and stranger.

    Isn’t that what social is all about? Building relationships.

  • http://twitter.com/wendykeneipp Wendy Keneipp

    I like social media because of articles like this, Jay. It’s like sitting down and having a real conversation with someone – a person – and not a corporation with all of the corporate speak and protocol that must be followed. Generally, people do business with people, and we’re all allowed to be individuals in this realm and get to learn about one another – beyond the corporate brand. I love the loosening of the tight branding restrictions that have traditionally made a corporate facade so uptight and rigid. I love hearing about someone’s kids and trips and what books they read and movies they watch. It’s so much insight and makes it feel like when we meet face-to-face, we’ve already crossed the first hurdle of awkward introductory chit chat. I’m with you – I love it!

  • Anonymous

    I agree with all your points here. I have two favorite parts of social media. The first is the sharing, not necessarily the crazy Facebook updates from people I haven’t seen since grammar school, but the article sharing, and the tips and advice I’ve gotten from being on Twitter and reading blogs. The second is the humanity that companies are able to bring using social media. Especially the small businesses. I love seeing a tiny store I never thought to go in mentioned in the news with some heart warming story attached, or something hilarious. That’s why social media is so powerful.

  • http://twitter.com/newraycom Ray Hiltz

    Social media provides us with the code to unlock the door to the largest cocktail party ever. We have the option to watch, listen, join conversations, give our opinions and make real friends. The point you made about it being transitory really resonated with me. I love change, but many don’t. I think this explains why so many people and business leaders are reticent to embrace social media. They like the security of the status quo.

  • Anonymous

    Speaking of connecting with people via Social Media, you still thinkin’ about going to the Bluegrass festival in Bloomington?

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    What’s the date on that again Finn?

  • http://www.twitter.com/mikemost mikemost

    sharing (viral good), seconds to minutes of content to digest, a technological breakthrough IMO but agree on the “don’t just get it scale” you need to have a purpose for engagement, it isn’t meant to be “what are you doing” it’s “what’s happening” and if I recall Re-Run used to say “Waz Happenin’” and it was rhetorical… so keep it that way unless you have a conversation to be in. No one wants to know about your bathroom experience… unless of course it is newsworthy like you bumped into George Michael or someone there.

  • http://twitter.com/troydarling Kevin Troy Darling

    Spot on. We are having this discussion internally with some folks on the fence. I would add though that the wide-open, no-rules appeal of social media is precisely what discourages some. And just like the advent of mass transportation ushered in an era of etiquette, we are starting to see some rules of the road for those trying to fit in. Those who are first in the door though have the advantage of setting the protocols.

  • Anonymous

    I love social media because of all the 11 reasons you gave + Equality. At least, with this medium, there is a given sense of equalization of all of us as people. We all have – thanks to the tools, technology and context – been able to grasp more and further to construct our life. We are what we want to be, at least in the social media realm.

  • Maureen Monfore

    “Anthropomorphization.” Nice. I like smart people.

  • Anonymous

    Not to mention meeting and getting to know your co-author because of those first social media connections. That whole geography and circumstance thing at work again.

    It’s all wrapped around dimensionality. Business doesn’t feel flat anymore. Neither does communication or even networks of friends. Opportunity is the one that gets me most, because there just isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t find more.

    Thanks for the post on the bright side.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    Thanks. Not positive that’s an actual word, but I’m going for it.

  • http://twitter.com/swoodruff Steve Woodruff

    Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. and Ditto.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    Nice! Thank you Steve.

  • http://socialbutterflyguy.com/ DJ Waldow

    Jay:

    Love it, as always. This point really hits home for me: “the bottom line objective of social media is to add human elements to companies that have acted like inhuman, robotic cyborgs for the past 40 years.”

    Human.

    The more and more I “do” social media, the more I love this part of it. You know how I feel about (most) people. I love them. As you’ve said in the past, people do business with other people, not companies. Adding in the human element is critical.

    What to add…

    For me, social media is about connections. Yes, connectivity as you mention, but I’m talking about connecting people to people or people to ideas or companies or causes. With one tweet, one blog post, one FB update, I can connect one person to another. THAT makes me happy. That’s why I love social media.

    DJ Waldow
    Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory
    @djwaldow

  • http://reallifemadman.blogspot.com Marjorie Clayman

    You can sleep easy, Jay. I love this post :)

    I’ve been thinking a lot about Social Media lately. I am still pretty new to using it for professional reasons, though I’ve had a blog on Livejournal for personal use for awhiel and stuff like that.

    I agree with you that the people are what make Social Media fun. Facebook is so annoying that there has to be a good reason why we haven’t all evacuated. The fail whale on Twitter always seems to happen when you want to time a comment just so. It’s the people that keep us coming back.

    Unfortunately, it seems like there is a bit of dark tide growing out there. Some people call them “the haters,” others call them trolls. But I feel kind of like I’m living in Fantasia and the Nothing is coming. These folks downplay the expertise of people who know what they’re talking about. They think that all of the knowledge that has been built up over the last few years is trash. And they don’t really understand being kind, networking, sharing, or really much else that makes the “people” part of the equation fun. Maybe I’ve just run into it more lately, but it seems like the tide is growing.

    I can’t wait to read the book!!! :D

  • http://twitter.com/jonmertz Jon Mertz

    Social media delivers access to ideas, new thoughts, and innovative practices and approaches. It is a great way to see and learn different things in a short amount of time while building your own library of resources.

  • http://www.DonnaWilsonsWorld.com DLWilsonsWorld

    I love social media, because it’s but one more way to meet interesting new people to share, & build friendships. Geographical boundaries are no longer an issue…it’s so cool to make friends with folks all around the World! I think it can be very unifying, in that way. Enjoyed readying your post!

  • http://twitter.com/donovantwaddle Donovan Twaddle

    Great post, Jay.

    I love social media for a number of reasons. Those that you’ve listed, of course, but it’s also about all of these things working synergistically to build trust and confidence in your personal brand. That in turn can make us influencers.

    At its core though, the social web is about people connecting and forming communities around a brand, an idea, an organization, or a cause. Which brings us full circle to exactly where you started—connectivity.

  • http://www.buzzedup.co.uk Mick Dickinson

    #SM brings people together in person as well as online. Indeed many are finding the line between these two worlds increasingly blurred. What line?

  • http://www.therisetothetop.com David Siteman Garland

    And good to see you two kids agreed on a book title. :)

  • http://www.therisetothetop.com David Siteman Garland

    Exactly Amber…and it gives hustling entrepreneurs perhaps an advantage over the big boys (and gals)

  • Ttaylor

    I love your “Flexibility” point. There are no right answers in any branding anymore. But there are connecting answers. Social media does that. And in today’s economy, that’s as close to a right answer as we may get.

    tt
    http://bigriveradvertising.com/blogs/changingbehaviors/2010/09/02/the-brand-named-earl

  • Pingback: HOT Social Media News For Sept 4, 2010

  • http://www.stealthmode.com hardaway

    Why, because it has enlarged my world exponentially — both my intellectual world and my emotional world. I first discovered social media when I was widowed and couldn’t sleep at night. My sanity was saved by Widow.net, an early network/chatroom for the recently bereaved. After that, it was Match.com, and from then on I have never stopped trying new ways to connect. For business? Sure. But predominantly I love social media personally.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    It was easy for us to agree. Getting publisher to agree was different. Can we get you to do a joint interview with us when we launch? ;)

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    I continue to quote you in every presentation about making friends you wouldn’t have had.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    Hi Francine. Thanks for much for the excellent and personal comment. Honored to have you here. I miss you and the AZ crew!

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    I really believe that’s true Ray. The constant change is a like or leave it scenario. Thanks for the great comment.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    I think there’s still a bit of a line, even for me. I don’t share the exact same stuff on Twitter that I do on Facebook, for example. Also, I’ve been criticized for not being “open” enough about myself on this blog. This post, in fact, is one of the most personal I’ve written. To me, it just feels a little weird to talk about myself. My impression is that you guys don’t care, so why waste your time?

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    It’s exciting times, for sure. Clay Shirky talks about that principle of connectivity in his book Cognitive Surplus (which I reviewed on this blog a few weeks ago). He talks about how hard it used to be for communities to form, and how easy it is now. The long tail applies to our hobbies, too.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    Thank you. It really does help emotionally (for me at least) that as my physical relationships become less strong (especially with my recent cross-country move), that my virtual relationships are largely unaffected, because proximity was never a piece of those pies.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    Absolutely Jon. Although one thing that concerns me (I wrote about this a while ago) is that our ability to curate our own interests may be limiting our exposure to contrarian views, which can’t be a net societal positive. I actually think the Web and social media have contributed significantly to the polarization of political and cultural thought in the U.S.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    Good! I was getting concerned that you were souring on me Marjorie! It’s funny how you reference the shortcomings of social media. I often say it’s the most popular, massively flawed technology ever.

    In terms of the haters, don’t worry about it. I’ve been online since 1994, and I’ve seen this movie before. Early adopters accumulate some measure of expertise, and a backlash follows. Give it a year, and it’ll settle out. My motto is to just play your own game. I love it when people I respect say nice things about me – who wouldn’t? But it doesn’t drive me any more than negativity does from the other side. I’m confident in what I’m doing, and that’s most of what you need to make it work long-term. Confidence & Commitment.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    Tell stories, my man. That’s why even though it’s not a “social media” book, the bible for all of us really should be “Made To Stick” by the Heath brothers. The big picture recipe is right there. The stuff that we think our customers don’t care about, they actually DO care about.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    Really excellent point. The promise was that digital marketing would democratize, but ultimately it didn’t. The rich got richer. Social media is different. It’s uniquely entrepreneurial. Not always in a good way, but the willingness of people to interact with you and connect with you in social media FAR exceeds their willingness to do the same things in real life.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    Definitely Mike. I wrote a post about that concept of what’s interesting and what’s banal in social media. It’s a fine line.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    Absolutely. The blurring of the lines between personal and professional turns off as many as it turns on.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    Small talk is dead. Long live small talk (in a new form)!

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    You bet Rebecca. It lets us go beyond the brochure to begin to feel like we “know” a company. That creates a feeling of kinship. Kinship creates purchase intent. Hence, the ROI of social media.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    Your real life is more interesting than your business life in 95% of the cases. The fact that you’re in public relations? Meh. The fact that you’re in public relations, but grow prize winning roses? Memorable.

  • http://reallifemadman.wordpress.com Marjorie Clayman

    pssh. Nah. Although your dialog over on Facebook isn’t helping :D

    Good to know this cycle has happened before. It seems like a big waste of time to me, to try to tear down people who actually know what they’re talking about. Why not just concentrate on what you know then?

    People are weird. But then, too, as Babs Streisand says, “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.” :)

  • http://www.therisetothetop.com David Siteman Garland

    Sounds good :) Keep me posted. I’m just upset I’m not on your list of people you read and admire ;)

  • http://www.therisetothetop.com David Siteman Garland

    Sounds good :) Keep me posted. I’m just upset I’m not on your list of people you read and admire ;)

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    I can fix that!

  • Anonymous

    I agree, great post. However, I still have my reservations about Social Media in general. It can be a huge time sink if you let it. It also makes us overly narciscistic as well as voyueristic ( they sort of play off each other). In moderation it’s fine. It would be nice to see a bloggers only social network. People who run their own blogs and who have gotten themselves a decent following on their own blogs alone seem to be better connections than those who do not have a blog. I am just getting started on my own and I have found that I’ve needed a hiatus from Facebook to to get back my discretionary time in order to get my sleeves rolled up for blogging. I will get back on FB once I am satisfied with my progress. Sorry for the me, me, me comment here. But it shows that there is a conflict that I think we all struggle with while getting used to this new fast paced world with social media and information overload in general.

  • http://www.socialcubix.com/services/facebook-connect Facebook Connect Integration

    Excellent Post, Loved it!

    Social media has definitely changed the way marketers and entrepreneurs do business. And most importantly, it has influenced significantly the way consumers communicate.

    Thanks!
    -Desmond!

  • http://twitter.com/addoway Addoway.com

    The rise in power is the power of the people. Social media provides you the means to hear them, reach out to them and interact ensuring that you are putting them first and creating an environment where they feel inspired by what you are about. Social media as you said provides a human element to any corporation and an element that has been lacking for so long.

  • Solangela

    I hope that when I get older I don’t become so narrow minded as to miss out on making more money and building my business because of change. Nothing is more stable then change.

  • Ron Day

    Hi Jay,
    In answer to the closing question, “why do you love social media?”, I don’t…yet. But I love your passion for it and your ability to communicate that passion into often meaningful blogs and follow-up. Contrary to the popular belief of many who view hold-outs like me as content with the status quo (I am not picking on the comments of Mr Hiltz, he merely echoes the the friendly accusations of my peers), I do embrace change, and I see value in Social Media. I just don’t know what it is I want or expect from a relationship with Social Media. Of note, I dropped my Facebook account earlier this year, recognizing that either a) I wasn’t managing it well, or b) I had different expectations of the experience. Either way, I felt there was a better way to share – though I have yet to find it beyond interpersonal communication.
    I have followed your words quietly now for the better part of 2010. I have suggested convinceandconvert to friends and colleagues who are more plugged in than me. I do so willingly. And I will continue.
    All the best,
    Ron

  • Ron Day

    Hi Jay,
    In answer to the closing question, “why do you love social media?”, I don’t…yet. But I love your passion for it and your ability to communicate that passion into often meaningful blogs and follow-up. Contrary to the popular belief of many who view hold-outs like me as content with the status quo (I am not picking on the comments of Mr Hiltz, he merely echoes the the friendly accusations of my peers), I do embrace change, and I see value in Social Media. I just don’t know what it is I want or expect from a relationship with Social Media. Of note, I dropped my Facebook account earlier this year, recognizing that either a) I wasn’t managing it well, or b) I had different expectations of the experience. Either way, I felt there was a better way to share – though I have yet to find it beyond interpersonal communication.
    I have followed your words quietly now for the better part of 2010. I have suggested convinceandconvert to friends and colleagues who are more plugged in than me. I do so willingly. And I will continue.
    All the best,
    Ron

  • Pingback: I’m not addicted to Twitter – I’m addicted to ideas | edSocialMedia

  • Pingback: I’m Social! | Milly is social

  • Pingback: Thinking aFresh: A study in Coke | Fresh

  • Pingback: A study in Coke, and some musings on Twitter | A study in Coke

  • GreysonHorst

    Hey check out this video I made about teens who are addicted to social networking.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jnzvzc4lnyo

  • letstalkandchat

    If you’re looking for webinar software, then check out Evergreen Business System. Its perfect for marketers and let’s you automate the scheduling of your webinars, build your list, and even follow up with your webinar registrants. If you’re going to buy Evergreen Business System, then you might as well get a free bonus! So check out http://www.mikelmurphy.com/evergreen-business-system-bonus-webinar-software/ and you’ll get a great bonus that tells you how to create a webinar, what is a webinar, and a blueprint for making a successful one. None of the other people offering bonuses are offering this. Hurry in case the guy (some dude that worked on Lord of the RIngs) offering the bonus decides to pull it down.

  • juandecop