During church on a recent Sunday, the Pastor informed us that our church is now on Facebook – as well as the Pastor himself – to which the congregation collectively applauded warmly acknowledging our church’s reach farther into the world. Leaning toward my husband, I snickered, “Would you want your Pastor as a “Friend”?”. I thought not as flashes of Facebook posts affirming overindulges and hearty complaints instantly coming to mind. This thought stream remained with me throughout the day.
Social media is everywhere. As a marketer, I would advise any client to get onto to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., and be active because whether you are “on” or not, your clients are. Regardless of the core demographic you target, there is a core market on-line – and making buying decisions.
In this new paradigm shift in which our society has entered (due to the economy), social media is perhaps the largest consumer-focused media outlet. People make decisions based on a company/service(s) presence on the web almost exclusively. Advertising in traditional media through print and radio are become secondary priorities as they fail to illicit the direct consumer response that social media receives.
Knowing all of this, it makes sense to have all of my key contacts as Facebook “Friends”. This is not only how I keep in touch with everyone important to me but provides an opportunity to market myself. As I thought about “friending” my Pastor, I realized that certain access requires a certain level of accountability. While my oldest is nearing the age of 6, it will not be long before she’s a member of a social network. I know of a few 10-yr olds with accounts and wonder whether I will “friend” my daughter when the time comes. Suddenly, I realized that this accountability reaches far – to my spiritual leader, my daughter, family (my Dad’s now a “friend”), acquaintances, colleagues…
The Pastor’s sermon was about the image you show the world. Think of yourself as a product: What message does your “brand” reveal? Is your marketing effective? Are you reaching the intended target audience?
My Mom taught me to develop my self-image through the physical (wearing appropriate clothing, grooming, attractiveness). As I am becoming more wise, I suppose, I realize the importance my inner self reveals through words and actions. The complaints, tone taken with my kids and husband, are not in correlation to the “brand” I hope to promote of a happy, tolerant, thoughtful and caring woman.
Facebook “friends”: Keep me accountable! Let me know how I am doing – perhaps many of us could use a Social Media Makeover…