Are you becoming Irrelevant?

I met intriguing people when I visited the Dave Ramsey organization in Nashville. Yesterday while sitting in Starbucks I finally reconnected with Steve NeSmith their Senior Director of Online Content, Social Media and Email Marketing. I wanted to chat about leadership and social media.

Steve explained the number one reason leaders don’t use social media is they are time bankrupt. His response, “Ask yourself if it’s important to you. Do you find time to network at the Chamber of Commerce?”

While Steve talked, I jotted notes until a local student accidentally dumped coffee on their books and floor. Moments later, I lost Steve’s voice in a clanking mop and yellow bucket bumping along ceramic tiles. Priority – clean up.

Finding time?

Steve didn’t sugar coat the time problem when he said, “If social media is important, leaders find time for it by reprioritizing.”

Why reprioritize?

Every business leader acknowledges the value of the Internet. Steve explained that Facebook has become the Internet for many people. If the Internet is valuable then social media just gained value.

Your customers, employees, detractors, and constituents participate. If you aren’t there, you aren’t where everyone is. You’re becoming irrelevant.

Steve and I grappled to find terms that expressed the meaning of relevance. I tossed out the idea that social media humanized leaders. He didn’t like the suggestion they aren’t already human. Good point.

Accessible

Your presence and participation lets people know you’re engaged and listening. It’s like walking into a coffee shop and seeing someone you know. Their presence, even if all you do is nod, makes you feel you belong.

Participation in social media removes perceived distance without intruding into real space and makes you seem accessible and relevant.

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Connect with Steve NeSmith on twitter: http://twitter.com/SteveNeSmith.

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Are the benefits of perceived accessibility and relevance sufficient for leaders to reprioritize? Why or why not?

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DISCLAIMER: As usual I’ve written with a direct style. You may perceive this post as a jab at some of my friends that don’t see social media as important as I do. You’d be wrong.