Are You Where the Conversation is Happening?

Today I was meeting with a client who heads a large association. Her group has been trying to help its members communicate better. As you may have also experienced, the groups she is working with have a lot of people who are not digital natives. The leaders of these groups are very busy, and often don’t feel that they have the time for online communication. Rather, they rely on the “tried and true” methods of communication that they have used for years.

The problem is that the tried and true isn’t working as well as it used to. Perhaps you’ve noticed the same. We send out important messages in a certain way, a way that we’re comfortable with, and then are surprised when people don’t have the information.

And if we’re having trouble reaching the people we’ve always reached with the methods we’ve always used, what about new people? Chances are, you’re missing them entirely.

You see, the conversation has moved. People aren’t getting their information from the same places anymore.

Where is the conversation happening?

Social networks.

There can be all kinds of excuses for not wanting to get on a social network like Facebook. “I don’t want to get involved in negative conversations.” “I don’t care what people are eating.” “What happens when people say bad things about my organization? I don’t even want to go there!”

But the fact remains that if you want to reach new people, you can no longer do what you’ve always done. You don’t get to decide where the conversation happens. You have to go where it’s happening. And today, that is social networks. Depending on who you want to reach, the network may be different. But not participating when you want to reach new people is equivalent to sticking your head in the sand.

It’s time to meet people where they are if you want to grow, whether it’s a business, a nonprofit, or any kind of organization. People are sharing on Facebook. On Twitter. On Snapchat. On Instagram. A decision not to participate is a decision not to grow.

It’s time to be part of the conversation.

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