Monday, June 14, 2010

Pardon the Phrase, But You Need to Avoid the Social Media ‘Quickie’

You glance across the crowded room and there he/she is: Surrounded by adoring fans, looking fabulous and giving you – yes you! – a sly look. This tempter/temptress glides your way and before you know it you’re leaving the party for a brief, perhaps rapturous encounter with your new best friend.

At some point we have all fallen to the temptation of a “quickie” – perhaps not of the sexual kind, but perhaps of the eating kind (that fast food burger when real food would have been a smarter choice) or the entertainment kind (that episode of The Real Housewives of New York when a far more informative and useful episode of Nova was on the local PBS station).

But if there is one place businesses and individuals should stay clear of the “quickie” it is social media. Trust me on this: No good can come of it.

So let’s acknowledge: Yes it can be exciting to jump into the metaphorical social media bed with a few well-known social networking apps. But businesses especially need to stop and ask: “How will I feel in the morning?’

Yes those apps that everybody seems to be drawn to – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube can look very attractive and easy to conquer. The makeup is just so, the curves/muscles are just in the right place and, well, you’ve been hearing so much about social media that at this point you may be wearing the virtual “beer goggles” and blind to some of the potential problems.

So how to avoid the social media morning-after regrets? Try asking yourself these four questions:

1. Should you think twice before jumping into bed with someone you haven’t built a relationship with?

2. Are you prepared to become deeply involved and ready to deal with the long-term commitment and consequences?

3. Is this something you have time for at this point in your life? Your business? Your career?

4. Can this new relationship fit into your existing relationships or will the old ones suffer because of the new?

Answer “No” to any of these and you likely are not ready for social media. As in life social media relationships take work.

What other relationship questions would you ask yourself before deciding to jump into a particular social medium?

Possibly related post:
10 Ideas to Help Business Navigate Social Media