Should security organizations tweet?
People who know me well will tell you how much I like technology. Since 2010, I have religiously written this column on my iPad as a way to experience how technology changes the way we communicate with people. The combination of using portable technology, writing a monthly column and occupying a role representing the Canadian Security Association, one would think that the next natural step would be a blog, or at the very least tweets. But like many of you, I do not.
I should be honest and admit that I did create a blog page in the past. I do have a twitter account at CANASA_ExecDir and I have been posting the odd tweet from time-to-time.
But I think that when it comes down to business, social media has not delivered on its promises.
During our last CANASA National Board of Directors meeting in April, social media was discussed and I was surprised to witness a broad spectrum of opinions on the subject. There was also a fair number of people who clearly stated they are not using social media.
Sure, Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with friends and family and with 500 million users it should not be dismissed. LinkedIn is rapidly emerging as the business equivalent of Facebook, allowing people to stay connected at the professional level. And then there is Twitter allowing you to share your life, 140 characters at a time. In the world of seven second ad spots, email preview screens and diagonal reading, I guess it is plenty.
We are being told that social media is the way to engage the new generation and the surest way to reach them. But what I am seeing so far is a new generation that buys music and reads news online rather than in a store, uploads pictures rather than prints them and sends text messages rather than makes phone calls. Many of us do that already across the generations in our family and between friends
Let's make sure not to confuse the issues: having a web presence has been a business requirement for quite a while and now most if not all services being offered today are going web-based in one form or another.
The real question is: should your business invest time and energy in Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter? I don't think so. Social media is for people, not organizations. Businesses should simply encourage staff, members, customers and stakeholders to join social media and engage in conversations about the business. Your home base is your website and people will find you there when they are ready to learn more about your business because you will always be in control of your website and the message you wish to communicate, but you will never be able to control social media and what people think of your business.
Ready to experience social media? Come and follow me at CANASA_ExecDir on Twitter. If you join I promise to 'tweet' more often and I will chat more about the people and less about the business.