Stopping to Ask Directions

At the Alterian ‘Engaging Times’ conference in Chicago in August, I was struck by the number of people who were just so keen to get going with all this social stuff. They just wanted to dive straight in – it all sounded and looked so uber cool!

People were from all kinds of inductry sectors – from estate agents to car dealerships so restaurant chains, B2C and B2B.

Well diving straight in can be great of course. But there are dangers down there. Having reflected on my experience a the conference now, I guess what the people who were listening to the great and the good in social media back then were saying was “I wish we’d been on this stuff earlier”. Just like the lost tourist who asks a local for directions, only to hear “Well I wouldn’t start from here”!

And yet there’s no choice. Here we are. The here and now with the world of Twitter and Facebook changing more and more, emails from Mashable and Techcrunch backing up further and further, it’s a wonder we don’t all feel swamped.

So I think it’s good to just take a minute or two to remind ourselves that no matter what technological changes happen between you starting to read this post and the end, we should all still be focussed on the same thing – the customer and prospective customer, who are just human beings requiring engagement on a human level.

Don’t get overawed by the tools (they are just that) or the speed of change. The winners on the social web will always be the ones who continue to engage on a human level and not get bogged down in their latest app or funky new ‘thing’.

It’s never too late to show a human face to the customer.

What do you think?

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