Social Media Fear No More, Mark Zuckerberg is Your BFF in 2011

Social Media Fear No More, Mark Zuckerberg is Your BFF in 2011

by V.S. Harriman, Senior Writer & Editor, Good Company

Mark Zuckerberg is my new best friend.  And if you’re not on board yet, commit to making his vision yours in 2011.

Speaking to a potential client this week, I was surprised, like many of you reading this article will be, to hear so late in this decade resistance to social media, Facebook, blogging and twitter.  “I just don’t get it,” he said. Ironically, and with all due respect, this is a man with a community outreach foundation that helps under-served kids get access to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs — a man with a Ph.D. and a keen interest in enlarging his community.   “Why would anyone want to blog, or worse, microblog?  And why do I want to be on Facebook?”

It is hard to believe that there are great organizations out there avoiding social media and missing out on the benefits social media campaigns as part of their outreach, but they really are still out there. And this should not go unchecked.  This week it was announced that Facebook is now bigger than Google, with more hits daily and 600 million users. Today, social media IS the way we communicate and build community.  For business and nonprofits to participate fully and grow, it is a must.

Yes, I too was a naysayer once.  When I first saw and used many of the new social media platforms available today I was underwhelmed and confused.  And this was well before people began asking questions about privacy and utility.  As a writer I thought Twitter and 140 characters represented the death of deep thought.  I felt exactly like a resistant client.

That all changed when I had my “JFK Moment” and asked not what social media could do for us, but what we could do with social media.

Think of social media platforms as mirrors that reflect only your best qualities.  You get to decide what to post and when.  You get to decide who can comment and when.  You get to decide who gets to add content and when.  Concerned about privacy?  Dial your settings to the strictest possible, but remember, social media is about sharing content.  You are there precisely to share, to create community, to link people together and to your cause.  What you need to decide is what content to share and when.  Yes, the internet is completely porous.  So choose what you want to share wisely.  But you have to share your content-no one knows your cause better than you do!

My resolution for the new year is to make every word and pixel of content matter – to make every Facebook or Twitter connection matter and to make sure that everything I share with the world reflects the best possible me.  Anything less is a disservice to myself.

So as you sit down to re-commit to your social media goals for 2011, just remember one thing.  The community you create will only be as good as you make it.  This was true before the internet and social media platforms existed and it is still true now.  You already have a great off-line community.   Make 2011 the year to build your on-line community.

(And rest assured, that potential client of ours will be tweeting this year!)

Good Company specializes in developing and executing innovative business strategies that deliver positive social impact