Why WOULDN'T You Want to Do This?

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My post the other day about how to help the paranoid boss understand social media was met with a lot of good comments and discussion. But I realized that I left out one very important boss scenario:

The boss who says: Our Industry Doesn’t Have Any Reason to be in Social Media.

Sometimes, we’re (meaning us, those in our industry) are so used to promoting new ways of communication, that we forget that there are industries outside of communications, marketing, advertising, and social media. And that’s where the above line comes from – bosses thinking “Oh, we have nothing to do with that, our audiences aren’t there.” And I’ve heard from several companies in the past few days who have bosses or clients who believe that. “We’re a ______ company – what do we need social media for?”

Well, have I got something to show you. Wow.

I got a note from Alejandra Owens, (@frijolita) who’s the Media Relations Manager at AARP. You know, AARP: The nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50 and over improve the quality of their lives.

She wanted to share with me something she and her team created. I took a look, and was blown away.

This isn’t some hotshot advertising agency built to cater to the 18-25 video gamer market. Nor is AARP a web shop plugged in to capitalize on the latest Facebook or Twitter craze. This is AARP! The organization that sends the magazine that my parents get!

Yet AARP was smart enough to look at social media and say, “we should, at the very least, do our homework on this new communications outlet.” And they were also smart enough to know that “new” is a relative term, at best, as well as not just seeing it as “social media,” but as something bigger that could have an impact on them and their millions of members.

So they did their homework, looked at the data they found, and then worked to get top-down buy in on this “new” form of communication.

The result is below. As you watch it, if you believe you’re working in an industry that’s considered “outside” of what most people think when they hear “social media,” I implore you to abandon that way of thinking. That way of thinking wrong, it’s outdated, and it will kill your company, and then, by default, will kill your job.

It’s not social media. It’s not Web 2.0 or 3.0. It’s life. You need to be a part of it, in whatever way your customers, clients, and audience demand you to be, or you won’t need to think about it anymore – You’ll simply be eliminated.

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