Sunday, February 5, 2012

Language 101

What I am discovering is that the majority of small, established businesses in my corner of the world are entering the blogosphere out of necessity, but rather reluctantly.  These are intelligent, creative, entrepreneurs whose successes are a result of nurturing an idea with painstaking care, endless energy and calculated risks.  Entering the social media arena, however, fills them with dread.

The main stumbling block for most, is that we were not raised in social media, like the following generation whose social lives are a cornucopia of Facebook, Twitter, smart phone apps, texting, IM'ing, chat rooms, Skype, YouTube, and online multi-player video games.  Not to mention their online academic world of homework submissions, online tests, course selections, school applications and simulations.

Cinque Terre, Manarola, Italy
So let's approach it like learning a new language - a language that is essential for business survival in the modern world.  The beauty of the social media "language" is that we don't have to travel to a new land to immerse ourselves in it.  We can also choose our immersion pace - wade in carefully up to our ankles; dive in head-first; or choose an approach anywhere in between. For cautious waders like me - leveraging my existing business knowledge and my personal social media world - setting up a blog and blogging has been a great introduction to the "language."  Simultaneously absorbing information by following blogs and dabbling in the business side of Facebook and Twitter prepares me for the next language lesson on using social media to create visibility, engage others and grow my business.

Like learning a language, you acquire new words, then accumulate enough words to form sentences.  The tenses begin to make sense and you find yourself able to speak, then converse.  The more you use it, the better you get.

Now to find the time!  It is an investment in your business.  It is important to make the time or ask for help.  Your fluency will improve with time and you may even ask yourself why you didn't dive in earlier!


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