“Are you kidding me? Kill my e-mail? You must be joking..”
With 80 percent of Americans now online and social media sites creating fast and easy ways to manage your personal and professional networks, e-mail is starting to become an outdated concept.
For one, e-mail is meant to be private, one-on-one communication. But I will wager a guess that the vast majority of your e-mails do not NEED to be private. In other words, there are ways you and others can gain from making your conversations public and have other people in your network listening in and participating.
The true benefit of social media doesn’t come from the sites and tools themselves, it comes from the conversations you create with your network.
The next time you’re getting ready to send an e-mail, go through the following thought process:
1) Is what I’m sending REALLY confidential?
2) Would others benefit from listening in on this subject?
3) Might I benefit from hearing other opinions on this subject?
4) Might there be potential new business that could result from this online discussion?
Here’s a real world example:
My friend and fellow entrepreneur, Bryna Rene, is a ghost writer, publisher, Web site designer and yoga instructor at Raffa Yoga. During a lunch we had together last week, she invited me to try yoga, since it’s something that’s been on my list to do for some time, but I didn’t quite how to jump in. She recommend I take one of the drop-in classes she teaches.
Later that day, we discussed the schedule by e-mail. But I realized that other people in my network and her network might be interested in taking a yoga class too. So instead of replying to her e-mail to confirm which class I was going to attend, I posted a note to her Facebook account.
Robert Beadle – “Hey Bryna, I’ll join you for your beginners yoga class on Thursday at 7. Looking forward to it!”
Bryna Rene – “Hooray! So happy you’re coming. See you then!”
Now both of our networks have learned the following from our public conversation:
- Bryna teaches Yoga
- I’m going to learn Yoga
- Bryna has a class on Thursday at 7 p.m.
And could this attract more people to Bryna’s class? Most definitely!
This concept of taking your conversations public can apply to almost any business, as long as the nature of your project isn’t confidential or proprietary.
And its use is not limited to Facebook. Instead of using Twitter to update people on what you’re doing all the time, use it re-tweet other people’s posts and comment on them. As a result you can expect an influx of new ideas and eventually, new business opportunities.