April 14th, 2010 | Edwin Dearborn, Chief Brand Officer

Never a day goes by when I am asked by a business person if they should actually engage in social media or not.

Have you noticed that phone books are getting thinner and smaller? Well, it’s not because the business is not dying. It is migrating to a new media that is reaching hundreds of millions per day. That is social media.

This CNN article is a case in point: http://edition.cnn.com/2010/BUSINESS/04/08/social.media.small.biz/?hpt=C2

We could argue for days about whether we should Facebook or Twitter? Should I blog or should write articles? Do I use have flash, or do video? These tools do not replace studying, understanding and having a strategy.

Recently I visited some up and coming entrepreneurs at a networking conference in Laguna Beach, CA. All were eager to attend and hear from the keynote speaker on Linkedin. After the talk, the questions fired like cannonade and one thing was clear: They were confused.

He didn’t clarify much, he simply stirred up the hornet’s nest.

And not about Linkedin, but about all aspects of social media. And you know what? The speaker wasn’t prepared. He was just as confused, really. He picked that one topic and studied it hoping to look like an expert on that one subject. He did not realize that when he opened up the platform, he would be inundated by a tsunami of questions and a torrent of confusion.

He got caught not knowing his basics of one of the most important changes in business today: social media.

But one thing is for sure: The confused questions all indicate that this is where small business is going. It’s not turning back. Say bye-bye to the yellow pages book, because it will one day be in the museum with the T-Rex and the Dodo.

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