What’s The REAL Reason You Use Social Media?

When you login to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc… what is the real reason you use such a tool?

To connect?

To market your business?

To develop relationships?

To find former classmates?

I’m going to pose what I’m examining as the real reason, the one reason we all use social media tools… in the form of a thought question:

Could the whole reason we use social media be to validate our own existence from a variety of perspectives… and NOT really to connect at all?

(e.g. I’ve got MORE friends/followers than you do, so I use social media to validate and publish that fact)

So I’m posing the whole reason, the one reason we’re using social media has to do with only one person, ourselves. I’m not sure if vanity is the word to describe it, but it seems to apply.

From Dictionary.com:

van·i·ty

/ˈvanətē/

Noun

  1. Excessive pride in or admiration of one’s own appearance or achievements.
  2. Denoting a person or company that publishes works at the author’s expense: “a vanity press”.

Synonyms

conceit – futility – vainglory – pride – arrogance

This does explain some of the use of social media on a personal level, doesn’t it? Even if you don’t want to admit it.

But in order for this to hold true, we have to prove the business case for social media. So why do businesses use social media?

To market, to connect, to distribute information? Or, does vanity play a part in the reasoning? Are business owners using social media to validate their business’ existence?

I suppose if a business got enough “likes,” or could get enough “likes” on Facebook, that would serve as a form of validation… although the profitability of that validation might still be in question of course.

But the second definition of “vanity” could apply here.

Hmmm…?

The Rushed Society Manifesto

Over on my personal blog, I’ve been writing about how society has been moving too fast…becoming too connected…and how I think we are actually becoming partial slaves to our blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc… instead of controlling our time and enjoying our lives (unless that stuff is truly what you like devoting 13 hours a day to in some cases).

We aren’t creating our art any more…we’re too busy creating other’s art, and boosting other’s branded images (the founders of Twitter and Facebook)…it’s actually kind of sad when you really think about it.

In response to that, I’ve created a document called The Rushed Society Manifesto.

You might enjoy it, you might not….it’s some of my more opinionated writing by far.  But, it’s only 15 pages long, and outlines where I think life in general is going, and has gone.

Download The Rushed Society Manifesto here.

5 Time Management Tips For Home Business Owners

You want to market your business, but do you have the time? Here are five nuggets of time management wisdom I personally use in my direct response copywriting business.  And here’s the kicker, I really only “work” no more than about four hours a day because of these strategies.

1) The foundation is your desk. How clean and organized is your desk? Do you live by a “use it, file it, or throw it away” mentality with every single item (paper, email, etc.) that comes across your desk? You either use information, file it (only if you have time-stamped when you are actually going to use it), or toss it.

2) Magazines, do you really read them? Or do you let them stack up, hoping to get to them “someday.”  The secret: Use tables of contents to find articles you like right away, and rip them out. Then, read the article(s) now, or file the article in a folder for that magazine subject or title.

3) Do you listen to audio recordings? If so, try listening at double speed (2x). In 99% of the cases, you can still understand what is being said, it doubles your efficiency in getting information, and cuts your listening time in half.

4) How organized is your office? Is your chair in easy reach of filing cabinets, supplies, and other necessary items without getting up? Getting up and down for only a few seconds each time adds up very quickly; so this technique alone can save you an hour a day.

5) How do you process interruptions? Do you check email 20 times daily, or, at just three specific times of the day? Do you schedule phone calls, or do you pick up the phone and answer it every time Aunt Mabel calls? How you handle these “attention-grabbers” can seriously chew up time.

Remember: NOBODY AND NOTHING control your time except YOU!

So now that you’ve read this, don’t take it out on others when “you don’t have enough time.” 🙂

Here Is What I’ve Been Thinking

Remember when I said “I’ve been doing some deep thinking”?

Well, it was about my business model.

For those of you who may not know, I’m a writer.  I write direct response copy, articles, and such…while also offering consultation services to people who are using the Internet as a marketing media for their businesses.

That has been a VERY successful model, by the way.  I’m seriously into the “lifestyle business” it has provided me and my family.  From working when I want to (literally), to being able to provide for my family, this business model has served me well.

Now it’s time to expand on the “lifestyle” part even further and be a writer…

Here is what I WILL be doing effective August 15th, 2010:

After some deep thinking, and soul-searching…I’ve discovered that the best ways I can serve people best is to write, but on a different level.

I will no longer be offering marketing consultations as part of my business model, and I’m expanding the writing part of my business model.

Of course, I will provide marketing strategy and advice as an added-value PART of my writing, just not the official, formal, and paid mentoring sessions that I’ve been providing.

So here’s what I will offer from this point forward, effective August 15th, 2010 (have to wrap up current contracts)…

  • My foundational service, writing direct response copy that pulls in sales and leads for my clients.
  • Offline postcards, direct mail packages, and other direct response copy.
  • Magazine articles, I will be focusing some of my efforts towards print.
  • “Lifestyle Essays”.  These will be rather unique, longer articles (reports?) and will be offered on this blog as downloadable PDF’s in paid and free format.
  • And more…

So that’s why I’ve been thinking.

It’s said our businesses go through a transformation as we discover how best to reach our markets, and make the bigger-scale shifts in the economy that we want to in our “missions” as entrepreneurs.  This is how I will make mine.

Until August 15th, I will be offering “shorts”, or those short marketing consultation sessions (up to about 4 hours at the longest).  These “shorts” will be offered in 2 varieties…

Up to 2 hours of hard-hitting marketing advice or a kick in the ass (whichever or both as needed) :  $197.00

Up to 4 hours of hard-hitting … you know:  $297.00

I will only sell 7 of these sessions in either format (remember, mine is a lifestyle business 🙂 ).  Once they’re gone, they’re gone.

IMPORTANT: But just because you want one, doesn’t mean you’ll get one. To qualify, send an email with your preference of 2 or 4 hour session in the email body.  Send that email to joe@josephratliff.com .  We’ll chat a bit on Skype, or over the phone (via email?) to make sure what you need and what I offer are a fit.

I look forward to offering paid marketing consultations, one last time.