Social Media, It’s NOT Always about Money


A well known blogger recently wrote that Social Media is about money. His premise was that the primary reason we engage in Social Media is to make money. I would agree that Social Media can be a means to making money, but I could not be more adamant in disagreeing with his view that this is the primary purpose for engaging in Social Media. There are many reasons why Social Media is about more than making money. Here, is a list of only 5:

  1. Social Media is about Being SOCIAL

    We are social beings. We have an innate desire to communicate, interact, feel, think and discuss. As Susan Scott has written, “the conversation is the relationship.” Social media is a contemporary form of communicating and interacting. Sure it may lack actual physical contact and the body language that accompanies live-and-in-person encounters, but it is no less real. For instance, take my mom and Facebook.

    I didn’t have much confidence that it would “take,” when I set my mom up on Facebook last year. Wow, was I wrong! It more than “took;” She’s the Facebook queen. Now, she is interacting with her grandkids, cousins and siblings, and friends across town and around the world. She and my dad may not be able to travel about as they once did, but now they “visit” via Social Media.

    One of the greatest benefits of Social Media has been reconnecting. Facebook has ushered in a reconnecting of relationships that for me were once void of any interaction. I now regularly converse with former high school and college classmates and relatives who I never get to see in person. Furthermore, I have found that existing relationships are strengthened via online interaction. Then, there is the opportunity for new relationships.

    Social Media opens up the door to new friendships. I have made new friends online because of our like-mindedness in such things as business, faith, running and sports. Furthermore, more than once I have met people, in person, because we first connected via Social Media.

  2. Interacting Online can be Entertaining.

    Whether it’s a funny video on YouTube or a quirky status update or comment, Social Media can be entertaining. It can also be addicting. Status updates on Facebook and Twitter can prompt laughter. Simply interacting with likeminded connections can bring simple enjoyment. For instance, take Twitter.

    You can enjoy—have fun—on Twitter during major events. Recently, I have tweeted and viewed thousands of tweets during the Super Bowl, Olympics, and the Daytona 500. On Twitter you will find a community of people expressing comments much more real, and entertaining, than anything you will hear on TV.

  3. Social Media is about Reaching-Out & Helping

    Via LinkedIn I found a great speaker for our annual staff meeting and also an attorney who had expertise in an area where our business needed assistance. Through discussions on LinkedIn I have found resources beneficial to both my personal life and work life.

    Knowing we have provided something of value to someone else is rewarding—even if it never adds anything to our financial bottom line. My blogs are often attempts to provide meaningful and helpful comments for others to use. I share team-building exercises, books, and YouTube videos that have been beneficial to me. Many tweets are simply passing along good information or links to interesting articles, videos or stories. Even within LinkedIn, where the focus is on nurturing business relationships, many of us will often pass along job openings or resumes with the hope that someone can find a new employee, or even better, an acquaintance can land a new job.

  4. Social Media can be a Tool to Encourage

    This past year, my first year on Facebook, I received more birthday wishes than ever before. Even if they were sent in response to an alert that popped up on a friend’s screen, it was special. This past week, a good friend shared with me, via Social Media, his appreciation for the influence I had on his life years ago—these kinds of comments feel good.

    This past winter I wrote a blog post I titled “I Gave My Bike A Girl’s Name.” This blog was about a special lady in my life—my Aunt Colleen. She doesn’t have a computer, but at Christmas I printed out the blog post and took it to her. I hope that it did encourage her. Many times I will use a Facebook status to affirm my children. I realize I run the risk of appearing to be that proud parent of a perfect child, but I take that risk because I believe that public affirmation of our children is a tool for acknowledging and encouraging my children, (and yes, I am proud of them!).

  5. Social Media is about Making a Difference

    Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter can be our soap boxes and pulpits. Many of us use Facebook to promote our causes. As I interact on Social Media I see people promoting their love for pets, wildlife, and the environment. Social Media is a great way to educate people about the causes that are important to us. This purpose of Social Media is a great motivator for me to engage in social media. Much of my social media is birthed out of several burning passions.

    My original purpose in blogging was to pass along stories from my life for my children. Quickly, however, I found myself desiring to use Social Media outlets as a microphone to the world on issues that matter to me such as apologetics, hermeneutics, and human trafficking. Earlier this year I published a blog post directed toward Human Resources professionals and business owners on the topic of the sexual exploitation of children in our American cities. It is my intense desire that this message find its way to the hearts of thousands of business leaders.

Being a father of four, I certainly need to make money. Social Media may be a way to fan the flame of gainful employment—yet, there is much more to Social Media than simply trying to gain another dollar.

What are some of the non-monetary benefits of Social Media you have discovered? Feel free to comment and share.

______________________________

To forward this blog post simply copy and paste the following link into an email:  http://wp.me/pBhtB-5i

You may follow Jack on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jackwbruce

 

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jeff Wolfe on February 28, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Jack,

    I enjoyed reading all of the excellent points you make in this post! I’ve always believed that Social Media is critical for building our “personal brand.” Your blog and presence on the Internet is certainly good evidence of that!

    Looking forward to reading future posts.

    Jeff

    Reply

  2. Posted by jean on March 2, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Jack,
    I, too, enjoyed this post. In the past I have felt a little guilty visiting my Facebook page but it does feed a part of me that misses social interaction. Also, I have received affirmations for my work with abused/neglected animals and my foster dogs, making me feel less like a “crazy dog lady”. LinkedIn is strictly business but there is a part of our lives that need touch and be touched on a personal level–so we tweet and create photo albums and send them out into the ether.
    Looking forward to more.
    Jean

    Reply

    • Posted by jackwbruce on March 2, 2010 at 9:23 am

      Jean,

      Well said. Thank you for your affirmation.

      I don’t think we should feel guilty for desiring and appreciating social interaction—it is only natural for us. Thanks again for sharing.

      -Jack

      Reply

  3. Posted by Craig Low on March 2, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Jack,

    Nice article; I always enjoy reading your perspective. It continues to amaze me how quickly Social Media has caught fire.

    Craig

    Reply

    • Posted by jackwbruce on March 2, 2010 at 10:56 am

      Craig,

      Thanks for your comments and positive words. I’m still on the front end of learning this stuff called “Social Media.”

      -Jack

      Reply

  4. Jack,

    I wholeheartedly agree, and the great thing is that most of my tweeps do too! Though folks might have initially responded to the pull of social media as a revenue stream, I think most (effective) users have now figured out that it’s more about relationships…

    Much like handing out 100 business cards at a networking event vs. having two REAL conversations that lead to the desire to really get to know someone, social media is what you make of it! And building relationships (or re-establishing them) is certainly the foundation.

    -Torri

    Reply

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