I just happened to be watching it again, and Wow, what a great film – way ahead of its time. Now Let’s not get too deep, but isn’t the most obvious observation in ‘The Matrix’ is that machines are scary, and no matter how user friendly they become, we still can’t trust them.
We have this internal intuition that there’s just something not right about them, and that eventually they will turn on us. The same observation can be understood about Social Media if you have yet to dive into it. Especially if you’re an entrepreneur who has been encouraged to start growing your businesses online presence.
The first thing you might want to do is; breath, relax, and listen. The ever growing user-friendliness of social media is a phenomenon to be celebrated, as well as an opportunity to integrate exactly who you are into the technological and digital realm – Yes, it’s time for you to set yourself free of fear and willingly plug into ‘The Matrix’.
The Man – Social Media – Machine Dichotomy
There is an ever growing fear that the evolution of social media is continuously lengthening the gap between our everyday tangible human interactions. Specifically, those interactions you enjoy about running a business. Given that to a rather large extent this is true, especially in the millennial generation.
A little bit of free will, self – control, and quick learning will have you using social media like a pro, while still maintaining an optimal tangible human interaction with your audience. The key is to always maintain that it is just another tool in your toolbox, regardless of how fast it grows, or how much ‘smarter’ it is than you.
We are years away from the scary machines in ‘The Matrix’, so until then you have to recognize that everything about social media as it stands has been made to complement our very human thought processes. It’s your responsibility to identify exactly what it is you need social media to do for you, and choose your relevant platforms accordingly.
If you intend on selling your brand, product, or self, its best you choose your relevant mediums – a human will only ever want to trust a human, and at the core of your business processes is ‘trust’. It is your be all and end all – if you’re talking to your target audience as if you’re Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, do you think they are likely to engage or buy what you’re selling? No. So don’t fear this man-machine relationship. Rather do some research into what works for your business and where your target audience is listening, after which you will then be able to translate who you are, what your brand is, or what you’re trying to sell to them as if you’re talking to them face to face.
Talk to them like we talk to you
Yes of course you’re reading this off a PC or mobile device, but would you say it is a machine trying to get you to listen right now or a human being? If you’re saying machine, you might be interacting with some serious AI that no one knows about; but your answer should be that we’re pretty human.
Tone and persona are so essential, and there isn’t one social media platform that doesn’t allow you to effectively communicate it across to your audience as much as possible. All it takes is knowing who you’re talking to, how they would respond, when they’re listening, and don’t forget; establish WHO YOU ARE.
Yes, as entrepreneurs you want to physically interact with your audience as much as possible, but the reality of the reach you would like to achieve in relation to how possible it is to actually physically interact with them is daunting – you aren’t going to get a thousands of people walking through the doors of your store daily; not in the beginning at least.
The trick is to build that social media presence online, such that awareness turns to leads, leads turn to online conversions, and online conversions translate to on-site walk – ins (there you have it: from online presence to that very human interaction you and your audience desire).
There are thus 3 trust interactions going on: one between yourself and the online platform, one between your use of the platform and your listeners, and one between your listener’s use of the platform and your use of the platform.
Yes, the multi-faceted nature of ‘The Matrix’ is frightening and it can all seem very confusing, but applications like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter allow you to effectively communicate the same human voice across each platform, while still maintaining a high degree of trust between yourself/persona and your listener.
Facebook for promoting the beauty of your assets through pictures and videos. Twitter for following trends, and joining the conversation that your listeners are already engaged in. Instagram for portraying the behind the scenes – incredibly human element of your business. Snapchat for a Live encapsulation of the most human elements of your business.
All of these platforms can be synced to some extent and with applications such as IFTTT (If This Then That) you can send out the same message on which ever platform you choose, with a tailored tone and voice per platform.
It all seems scary now, but once you get the gist of it you’ll be a pro who has tamed the social media beast, with nothing to fear.
In the words of Morpheus: “I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it”. Let us be your ‘Morpheus’, you can be our ‘Neo; and we can set you free from fear!
Baby steps: Build, Connect and Nurture
Do you feel slightly better about that man-machine interaction? Yes, the evolution is fast, but remember; the experts who develop these applications are developed for humans, by humans, to effectively use ‘machines’ to gain human trust.
1) Build – Ask yourself: Who am I talking to? How should I talk to them? What am I trying to achieve with my voice across platforms? – Remember the machine is your medium/matrix, your relationship is designed to be complimentary, such that you can too; set your audience free.
2) Connect and Nurture– Ask yourself: How can I get them to trust my voice? How can I show them I care about them and not just myself? How can I provide value, and make them feel like they matter?
It’s kind of like the idea of ‘Enlightenment’ – Those who have been set free from fear are awakened, those who aren’t are in a deep sleep. Just like we are attempting to enlighten you with our knowledge and product, how do you intend on enlightening your audience with the joys of your brand, or product. So ask yourself, ‘Why is this special?’ and ‘Why am I special?’
Fear, patience, execution!
To effectively communicate the voice or presence, we’re talking about will take time, but you must be persistent. More importantly you must use whatever fear you have like an adrenaline junky uses his adrenaline to skydive, ride big waves, nail double back-flips on a motorcycle, or in the context of ‘The Matrix’; use your fear to overcome and use the technology/software/applications around you to conquer unheard of accomplishments like ‘Neo’.
Be the social media equivalent to dodging bullets or jumping from skyscraper to skyscraper. Use your fear and self-confidence to LET GO. The tools are at your disposable and your potential is limitless, so have patience with yourself, your brand, and don’t be afraid to fail – failure is learning, and from learning, comes flying!