Social Media: Time to Regain Control

The business argument for social media is compelling, but we're not using it correctly.

By + More

TH_OV_GLHoffman copy.jpg
GL Hoffman
“Social” media is out of control in offices across the country. We spend too much time texting and E-mailing fringe friends frequently meaningless drivel about last night’s “The Bachelor” surprise ending. We don’t spend enough time making real connections or having real conversations.

In a world that increasingly suffers from a disease called “Hey Look At Me,” it is easy to choose one of the social media to reach out and touch (or bore) someone. It’s our version of personal spamming.

With E-mail spamming, I can delete it easily, or my spam filter catches most of it. Social media is different, it tricks you into thinking that work is being accomplished. Most of the time it isn’t. I know more about my friends by the quality of the jokes they send me, than by actually having a conversation. I miss that and I am sure you do, too.

I do think that the tools are adapting quickly, and useful workplace functions are on the way. The teenage girls who now text each other in the backseat of the same car will go on to build companies that use social media to make buying or servicing customers better. I get how it all works.

As managers, we saw the social media coming into our companies. Because we didn’t understand it fully, we let it in almost unchecked. Facebook started off as a college meet-and-greet tool. We turned around and, bada bing, now like 175 million people use it. How’d that happen? Scrambling, we put our company up on it--surely a clear sign that the end is near for FB.

If you want to regain control of the social media in your company before it is too late, I am suggesting six things you can do over at The Talent Buzz.

G.L. Hoffman is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor/operator/incubator/mentor. Two of his companies have traveled the entire success path from the garage to IPO. Currently, he is chairman of JobDig, and his blog can be found at WhatWouldDadSay.com or at JobDig.com.