We all take speech and language for granted, never thinking about how hard it really is for our brains to create and manage the words that come out of our mouths. When humans began speaking as we evolved, it completely changed how we live and interact with each other. Speech allowed us to communicate and to share. It made us more social beings and that socialization is truly a pillar of humanity.
I chuckle when people dismiss social media and refuse to be on Facebook or claim Twitter is a waste of time. The human animal is a social animal because of language. Socialization with our fellow humans, friends or not, is central to our daily lives. When you say “Good morning, how’s it going?” to your co-workers, you are starting a social contract for the day. You have let them know you are there, you have started a dialogue and want to interact. Of course, you could ignore all your co-workers and just go do your job. If you do this day in and day out, you will be left out of the “community”.
And this is the most important “take-away” from social media: community. We are all part of small communities that are tied together through various bonds. Because of our socialization, we can jump in and out of communities daily…even hourly. You have your family, your work, your kickball team, your fantasy football friends, your favorite band, your pro-sports team, your favorite bar or restaurant, your favorite store. All these communities make up who you are on that social level. This is why it’s important for businesses to be part of that social contract. Since your favorite store is part of your community, wouldn’t it be great to hear from them occasionally…maybe saying, “Good morning, how’s it going?”
As a business, social media gives you a chance to say “Good morning” to a potential customer walking through the virtual door of your shop! Small business owners who see value in being part of the social contract are not only going to get people through their real doors, their brand will be thought of daily and, most times, being a part of the community is more important than making that sale.
Photo courtesy of: Nathanielgold.com