Feb 7, 2013
Two weeks ago, I attended an event sponsored by National Association of Women Business Owners, “Today’s Technology 101.” The panel of speakers talked about mobile technology and social media. Not surprisingly, social media took center stage and the questions poured from the audience.
This particular audience had those who were very familiar with social media and those who had never created a Facebook account. I’m in the middle but more toward the latter group: I have a Facebook and LinkedIn account personally and professionally but struggle with finding time to update it. Social media to me is speed media.
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and now Pinterest (which doesn’t even show up in spell-check yet) are just a few options you can focus on with your business. However, any social media guru will tell you to pick one and do an outstanding job with it before starting the next. I’m working on that but I have not yet found a balance between my traditional approach to work versus spending time on Facebook or LinkedIn. I have a hard time not seeing these things as “time-drains.”
But they aren’t always “time-drains”. Take LinkedIn for example. This is a great tool for getting an introduction to meet someone. With today’s spam filters, it can be difficult to email, especially if your email is not on the receiver’s approved list. Reaching out through LinkedIn can be surprisingly faster than even picking up the telephone.
For example, I recently sent a formal letter (being the traditionalist I am) inviting NAWBO’s national president, Diane Leneghan Tomb, to come speak to our local chapter. Two weeks after sending the letter, I got an email from the administrative arm of NAWBO asking me to complete a form with all sorts of information regarding the basic details of my request. All of that was in my letter, of course, and I was perplexed as to why I would need to fill out a form. As president of the local chapter, wasn’t my letter adequate and appropriate? I was frustrated by the lack of success from my traditional approach.
Then my president-elect, Kathleen Dorsey, suggested that we reach out to Tomb on LinkedIn. Even though I was skeptical that it, too, would be caught by NAWBO’s administrative arm, Kathleen sent Tomb a note through LinkedIn asking if the three of us could talk with her by phone. Before the work day is over, Kathleen had a response and we had a conference call scheduled. I can honestly say that I was shocked.
I learned to type on a typewriter in high school in the “typing lab.” At my first job, I used a typewriter with carbon-copied paper and cringed when my finger would hit the wrong key and I’d have to start over. I still send handwritten thank-you notes and would never think of emailing someone to thank them for an interview.
But clearly there are things this traditionalist is going to have to budge on, if just a little.