Technology has irrevocably rocked our worlds, and the onset of social media has solidified that fact. Just ask Oprah!
Last Friday, Oprah—the queen of face-to-face, heart-to-heart conversations—posted her first tweet on the popular microblogging site Twitter. In a few quick clicks, she spiked Twitter visits by 24%* on April 17th and subsequently introduced Twitter to her legions of viewers worldwide. Data shows that 37% of Twitter users that day were new to the site. Clearly, social media is deepening its roots into our daily lives; Oprah’s on board.
As interesting—and potentially powerful—as those Twitter stats may be, it’s safe to presume that, as long as she has a show, Oprah will not cease and desist from having live guests sit knee to knee with her on the couch. The in-person conversation, “in front of a live studio audience,” is the heart of the matter for Oprah and her devoted audience. Though she may Skype in some interviewees and tweet about her comings and goings, Oprah has created an empire based on the personal touch, the immediate and three dimensional connection of being in a studio with audiences and guests. She merely extends and deepens those connections through the use of technology and social media tools.
What’s the lesson for small business owners? It’s two-fold and three dimensional.
1. We are all caught in the World Wide Web of social media and online technology. It is real, present and powerfully impacting how we do business, connect with friends and proceed into the future.
2. Technology will never negate the value and utter necessity of face time. “In person” moments may be required less frequently thanks to technology, but they will never be replaceable. There will always be a big difference between a smiling face to greet you at the end of a day and a “ :)” at the end of an email.
Small businesses owners also need to blend the use of social media tools and the time spent building online presence wtih real life, in person opportunities to connect. Technology can be an incredible enhancement and extension of who you are and how you reach people. When you’re effectively and meaningfully connecting with friends, colleagues and customers online and in person, you’ve really achieved something worth tweeting about.