A few weeks ago I was sitting at a seaside cafe on an island off Istanbul. The sky was bright blue and the water calm while ferries transported visitors to their brief escape from the city. As I gazed out toward the horizon, my eyes fell on a table of young women (friends, presumably) with an unobstructed view of the sea. Unfortunately, none of them even noticed. Each was absorbed in their own world, eyes fixed to their phones, fingers swiping and typing. They sat for over thirty minutes with not a single word exchanged between them and no apparent acknowledgement of the beauty around them. And this is what we call "social media." Social media can be used to foster relationship, but that doesn't just happen naturally. And, in business, we have often gotten it wrong. Doc Searls, author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, laments, “Customer Relationship Management [today] is about [marketing and] sales and not about the relationship. It's about deflecting customers and minimizing contact.” In other words, social media isn't inherently bad. When used well in business it can foster connection with our customers. But, used improperly, it contributes to the distancing of our customers. In our next post we'll look at ways to foster more engagement with your residents and prospects.
In what ways might your use of social media be unintentionally creating distance between you and your residents?