How Social Media can make your company money

This is a repost of a comment I left on Tamsen McMahon and Amber Naslunds amazing blog BrassTackThinking.  I highly recommend checking out anything these two write.

When thinking about how best to “convert” the business-minded folks over to recognizing the value of making themselves present via social channels, I often think in terms of “how can I make them see that what they’re doing isn’t all of what they could be or should be doing”, and its a frustration to me that a lot of really smart, well-thought-out posts on assorted blogs will really only be read, digested and used by people who “already get it” on some level.

In order to “reach” the rest of them, I often think a post entitled “how social media will make you money” would be hugely popular. I don’t think many of us (myself included) are as strong at “leading a horse to water” as we need to be.

Perhaps its our own stubbornness and unwillingness to maybe be influenced by those more sales-focused minds and opinions that get in our way?

Every interaction between two people leaves both a little changed, but when we talk about bringing people to our side of the fence, we rarely consider how close we need to get to the fence ourselves in order to have that conversation.

Maybe we do ourselves a disservice in this way?

What are we willing to take on and learn from “the other side” in order to bring balance?

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[…] language” without compromising the core values of “their side” (i.e. without getting too close to the fence).  Do the creative people need to partner with the business people to figure out a way to get […]


I think you are right on here, Jeremy and closed-mindedness (from staunch proponents of one side or the other) to alternate points of view, regardless of the basis for opposition, is a definite detriment to productive dialog.

But this is the reality. As I mentioned on Tamsen's post, people are often afraid of the perceived intellectual cooties that may come as a result of getting too close to the fence. Or, heaven forbid, actually stepping over and truly experiencing the alternative point of view.

A lingering suspicion that the opposition may present value the deeper you understand it forces folks to examine their position and that scares the hell out of them. “What if I'm wrong? What if all the energy I've invested in my current point of view is rendered meaningless? Can I afford that blow – to my perceived expertise, my progress toward current objectives…my ego?”

**Sweeping generalization imminent**

These staunch proponents aren't willing to render themselves that vulnerable. To their own fallibility. To the difficulty of change. Instead, they wrap themselves snugly in the blanket of what's comfortable, regardless of the impact on progress.

If one side of the equation lets go of that, the dialog has its kindling. If both let go, in concert, you can build a bonfire…or a village…or a whatever. Bottom line, you're building.

Sure there are folks who already occupy these moderate points of view. They can (and do) make a difference in the pursuit of progress. My sense of it, though, is that when you begin to smooth and shorten the extreme ends of opposition…that is when you enable a real and lasting advance.

And I believe THAT is only possible when you relinquish a little of what you hold so dear and embrace the folks on the other side of the fence.

That's just it. We need to forget, at least for a moment, what it is we want to tell someone–what it is we want them to hear–and figure out what they want (NOT need!) to hear from us. And then we have to tailor all of our messages into that framework.

Our jobs as communicators (for that's what we all are, at heart) is to get the message heard. That doesn't mean speaking it more loudly, and particularly not if we're in an echo chamber. That means figuring out how it's most likely to be listened to, which means figuring out not only how to alter what we say (or what we offer), but also altering how we say it (so it's in language that the other person is more likely to hear and understand).

[Love the redesign, btw. Looks great!]