IT would seem reasonable to assume that young people are pretty hot on social media today while some older people struggle even with the concept.
However, judging by my experience last week, the young view of social media may actually be more restricted than most of us oldies might think.
I was giving a short talk on using the media to boost business to a group of young business people. The event was pleasant, informal-ish and they were an attentive audience.
I mentioned the importance of using all media platforms to get a company’s message across, including social media.
When it came to question-time, it was obvious that this idea was fairly alien. Only one or two present actually did this. As one young man explained: “I would never think of using Facebook for business – I only post things about my social life.”
While the irony of an older person promoting the virtues of social media to a young audience wasn’t lost on me, I could see their point.
We may laugh about the sheer lightweight nature of many Facebook posts, tweets and Instagram pictures but, actually, they serve a purpose as a life-reflection of the poster. It’s a kind of easy shorthand to illustrate what they’ve been doing, one not needing lengthy explanations– a time-saver.
Business, though, is more serious. It takes weighty sentences, needs mulling over, doesn’t it?
Though it may be a bad idea to rush into business posts like you might into one describing a night in a club, it really shouldn’t be too unnatural or heavy.
The key to effective business posting is to get to the point quickly, inform or educate, and preferably finish with a call to action. It’s not an advert or a promotion.
It needs a dedicated business page but your posts can build an accessible profile of your company and its services in a positive and interesting way. You might offer snippets of relevant information, links to associated articles or items of news. The key here is to engage easily. And without a Mojito in sight.