My grumpiness just got ten times worse at this treasury conference, as I stood up and started talking about how I use facebook, twitter, blogging etc to leverage my business.
I could see a veil of abandonment enter the faces of the room as they struggled to get what I was saying, so I asked if any of them use facebook, twitter, flickr, tumblr, gropuon et al.
One person piped up and said they use facebook to keep abreast of what their children are doing, and that was it.
I just unfriended the lot of them.
But then I thought, hey ho, they’re corporate treasurers. Why should they be interested in social media?
So I gave it a chance and launched into my spiel about micropayments, bitcoin, facebook credits, the challenge to security and privacy, the world of change from Square and mobile payments and more.
You name it and I tried to ensure it was, at the very least, discussed and debated, illuminated and understood.
By the end of the meeting, I could see a few more concerned faces. It’s the usual reaction to my presentation: oh, I just got the fact that the world is disrupted, or that’s what I thought.
So we go to lunch and I’m chatting away with folks who all start with the soft blow: “I enjoyed your presentation” and then follow it up with the classic “but …”
- “But facebook is just a transient thing”
- “But people will soon stop using facebook and use something else”
- “But isn’t facebook just a fad”
- “But why would I use twitter”
- “But what’s the point of hearing that someone’s just eaten a cake or posted a letter”
- “But what’s the relevance of this to me”
- “But who cares what kids are doing”
- “But you’re just talking about stuff that’s for someone else who wants to have fun, not me”
No, you don’t want to have fun do you?
We then get into a deeper debate, with some of the folks saying:
- “How can you discount the idea of a website that is almost as big as India and China”
- “How can you say something that some kids invest days or weeks of their lives building – their profile – can just be dumped like that”
- “You need to use twitter to start getting it, as it tells me all I need to know about my competition and clients”
Blah, blah, blah.
It felt a little bit like going back to some kindergarten and teaching children the basics of the alphabet.
That’s fine for a social media education session, but this was supposedly a dialogue about how it would, could and is changing their business models and the models of commerce generally.
Bottom-line: it may not be your job, your colleague’s job, your boss’s job or your CEO’s job to understand social media, but just make darned sure someone in your business does or your business is screwed.