In observing those younger and more adept on Facebook, I’ve come away with several thoughts that I would like to consider implementing in my business.
Observation: Everyone is their friend. Some have more friends than the number of people I’ve managed to meet throughout my entire life. Do they know them all? Certainly not. They use “friend” loosely to define a wide variety of relationships.
Take-Away: What this teaches me as a business owner is to be open to all. Accept friends of friends and acquaintances into my network. Any one of them could become my biggest fan, promoter, or client.
Observation: If alliances shift and there is a terrible, unfixable break in a key relationship, the original Facebook account is closed and a new variation is opened. Some old alliance are sought, others ignored. But, soon, they are back to having hundreds of connections, posts, and pictures.
Take-Away: The lesson here, I believe, is the ability to reinvent oneself and rally after a devastating event or disappointment. The need to change direction is completely acceptable.
Observation: They post with seeming ease, often, and mostly without regard for spelling, grammar, or offense. They allow their personalities to shine – funny, witty, serious, studious – in short statements that demonstrate their frustrations, knowledge, and excitement.
Take-Away: The potential lesson to business owners is to promote a message, with personality, on a regular basis. Without consistent presence, the company will get lost in the crowd.
Personally, I enjoy the glimpses into the minds of my younger friends. I enjoy reading their perceptions and reactions to the world. But, I am fearful for them too. I wonder about their ability to establish meaningful relationships and the effects of endless self-promotion. I worry about their safety with constant revelations about their comings and goings to such a wide group of loosely connected individuals. They have lessons and insights to share though, to be sure. And, in many ways, there is much to be learned from their ability to gain relevance and comfort in an age of social media.