Social Media – Word Travels at the Speed of Sound (ding)

How much time and money do you spend promoting yourself? Your business? You could pay to advertise in specific publications to get the word out, or you can use the free areas available to you, like the social media. People who follow you or subscribe to your “feed” can learn about you/your business/your shows at the speed of sound. Facebook and Twitter are fast and easy methods to inform your friends about upcoming events and shows, but you must learn to balance your posts between business and personal. Otherwise, people might simply ignore you or block you. Sometimes, they will “unfriend” you.

When on a site like Facebook, you should have a definitive line between business and personal. Create a business page and invite friends to “like” it. Keep the business posts there. Link to them from your personal page. On Twitter, my actual username is my business page from Facebook, and it is linked from there. All my posts from that page on Facebook appear on my Twitter feed. I like the fact that they allow such linking, but I keep it to just these two sites.

I know some people like to use one account for everything, and that will feed all their social media outlets at the same time. I don’t like to do that as I think it can be “spamming” instead of something more personal. My personal Facebook page is just that – personal. I post personal stuff, and are friends with people that I have actually met (either in person or online via long distance chat). Still, I like to promote when I am in a concert as many of my friends are also people who might want to come see it if they know I am performing. Many of my friends are also musicians, so they like to post their concerts, too. It’s a simple way to get the information “out there” and to remind people of upcoming shows.

As with any “good” thing, there is a flip side. With the instant information available, I have to spend time each day on Facebook and other social media sites to keep it current; keep the content fresh and inviting. This does take a dedicated part of my day/week, but it is something I enjoy doing. It’s also my time to get up to date on what my friends are doing, too. It appears that Facebook and other social media are simply following the evolution of how we as humans communicate. Facebook created a NEW way for us to network and socialize, and it has clearly changed our society. The written letter allowed communication to go a long distance; the telegraph shortened the time for that letter to travel; the telephone replaced the letter/telegraph by allowing voice communication; e-mail replaced the written letter; cell phones allowed voice, text and video communication wherever you may be (both inside and outside your home) and made it portable; social media replaced many phone calls, letters and e-mails as one status update can reach your entire circle of friends at the same time. With apps on cell phones, the communication becomes instant. There is little time to process it before the next communication comes barreling at you at the speed of sound with a “ding” of the next message arriving. Also, with the lack of having the non-verbal communication of reading body language and facial expressions, many times the message is misinterpreted.

Although I firmly believe that there is nothing more personal and important than face-to-face communication, I also know it is increasingly challenging for that communication to happen in our constantly busy society. We must make time for our friends to remind them how important they are to us. When I don’t have time to meet, I at least try to communicate via a telephone call. When there’s no time for a phone call, I text or e-mail. It’s these personal bonds that keep us alive and growing as a society. And if you have read this far, I just reinforced a bond with you. 🙂