• You’re invited to a party & you don’t have to dress up

    Date: 2010.10.18 | Category: Fastener Industry | Tags:

    photo by Pierre J.

    I just left a long comment on our industry’s premier blog, Fastener Talk.  First, if there is even one person who reads my blog and not his (probably not), you’re nuts.  Check it out.

    But since I got on such a roll I figured it would be okay to take advantage and quote myself here.  First let me add up front that what the web regulars call Social Media, we can just think of as a great party where we might find old friends, new friends, customers, prospects, mentors, experts, and sometimes just really cool, interesting people.  Everybody is invited to this party, and it is free to get in.  You get to listen to some great conversations and can join in any time.  If somebody is boring you or wasting your time at this party, you can walk away and not feel one bit bad about it.  If you want, you can leave the party and come back whenever you feel like it, even at 2 a.m., or you can take the party anywhere with you.  Best of all, you don’t have to dress up and you can even be ugly as heck and it won’t matter a bit.  😉

    Now to grab what I wrote commenting on Traveling Salesman’s post about the NFDA’s session on social media:

    “I agree that the talk was a good one for us to hear, although they went a little heavy on the “you’d better do it, or you will be sorry” and light on the explanation of specifics of how fastener people might experience Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and youtube.  But they were right on when they made the point that e-v-e-r-y-b-o-d-y should at least experiment with it and just spend a few minutes a day playing with it.

    Since I have friends online who are more techie than most fastener people, I was introduced to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter a little earlier than I might have been otherwise.  I would just tell people who are hesitant about these tools not to let it worry you.  You can sign up for any of these services for free, and it does not obligate you to do another darned thing.  You don’t have to get out there and amaze anybody.  Just get out there and feel your way along.  I mean LinkedIn for one example, is basically a free way to put your resume out there for the whole world.  It doesn’t mean you’re looking for another job, but it does mean that anybody interested in connecting with someone of your qualifications for any reason will be able to find you.  After you sign up you can get a better idea of how any service works, and how it might benefit you.  Don’t get caught up in getting the most friends or the most followers or connections, just think about how you can use the tools to bring valuable content to your customers.

    One thing that made me a little queasy in the NFDA Q & A was a couple of questions that were along the lines of (I’m paraphrasing big time), “What will I do when we start getting so much feedback from these things that it takes up too much of our time?”
    These concerns stem, I think, from two factors.  First, from that fact that people who haven’t tried these services (I don’t like calling them Social Media because I think it conjures up feelings of Social Anxiety in many of us) worry that they will just be getting spammed from even more places.  This is not the case.  These services give much more control over who can contact you in the first place, and anybody who does get through and then abuses it, can easily be cut off for good.

    Second, the fear of the unknown makes people say crazy things like, “What if we get too many customers contacting us through these things with questions, comments or complaints?”


    Since when is it a bad thing to hear from your customers?  If you have to hire a person just to monitor all of the feedback from customers, you should be throwing a party.  That feedback is priceless.  Would you rather risk that you will get the same feedback two to four weeks later when your rep drops by?

    Just don’t let this stuff intimidate you.  It’s free and it’s as easy as you want it to be.  Go sign up.

    Oh – and follow me on Twitter –  @screwcrew , or like my Facebook page –  http://www.facebook.com/fastener.freaks , or connect with me on LinkedIn –  http://www.linkedin.com/in/andypels

    but only if you WANT to.  :)”

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