Are You Scared Of Social Media?

Scared of Social Media?

I am too busy. I am too old. This is too risky.

Those are just a few of the many reasons that kept me from jumping headfirst into social media. I couldn’t fathom adding anything else to my already busy schedule. I was convinced that my old ways of communicating and connecting were working just fine. And equally concerning: What about the risk of getting consumed by this overwhelming and uncontrollable communication tool called social media?

Then a light bulb went off. I was meeting with Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn. I was sharing with him my passion for purpose and how EY was activating purpose throughout our organization as we executed our vision to build a better working world. We talked about the incredible platform that is LinkedIn to engage in a discussion about the power and science of purpose. I also considered a statistic I had read that millennials spend more than three hours a day on social media. Jeff invited me – really more challenged me – to get into the game!

While it’s still a work in progress, here are some of my lessons learned from saying “Yes” to social media:

  1. If you have passion, social media is a great place to “raise your voice!”
    Months before my profiles went live, I brainstormed what I wanted to accomplish on social channels. I defined my objectives and created goals. I knew that I wanted to start a purpose dialogue internally at EY and externally through Twitter and LinkedIn. My outcome-directed objectives and goals have allowed me to stay focused on the two-way dialogue I want to generate and the community I want to build. To better control your end results, start with a clear foundation, goals and objectives and “raise your voice” by leveraging the platform that is social media.

    All of us have energy for something. We each are leaders in our own way. We have the opportunity through social media to inspire and motivate others based on our own journeys, our personal experiences and our unique passions. I have enjoyed sharing my story on social media. And I am looking forward to hearing yours.

  2. As you engage, be flexible and willing to adjust!
    Your path to success on social media should be grounded in flexibility. You can plan, predict and forecast, but if you are unwilling to “monitor and adjust” your tactics, you will immediately become lost. With the speed of how trends change and the “real-time” aspect of social media, I realized that I need to be quick to adjust.

    Did you know there are an average 9,100 Tweets per second? (Source: In the time it has taken you to read to this point, there have been between 1.6 million and 2.7 million Tweets that have gone live. Wow! This is the reality of the world we live in today. We are constantly exposed to various types of media and learning new information as it becomes available. To be relevant and meaningful on social channels, you will need to be aware of and act on the latest news and trends. And that is what makes social media so engaging, challenging and exciting.

  3. Social media will get you connected and make you relevant!
    In my approach, I anticipated and targeted specific audiences for each channel. It has been fascinating to see the diversity in seniority, industry and geographic location of those I have the opportunity to connect with. I was initially inspired by millennials, but they are not the only generation active on social media and yearning to find purpose in their work and life.

    I am constantly learning about individuals and groups who want to find something more in their life, a higher calling. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to impact others and I challenge you to do the same. You will be amazed at the community you can build.

My story is a journey and I am still learning. What lessons can you share about saying “Yes” to social media?

-Bob Patton

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