Social Media 101 with CN&CO

Social media. Either you’re on it, or you know you should be. At CN&CO we understand that it’s a big step to move over to the social side if you’re still busy trying to work out how to open apps on your smart phone. It’s really scary. And what if you break the internet while you’re there? Or do something silly like send out your sex tape?

“My kids are always rolling their eyes at me because I’m not on Instagram.”

“I know how to work the Google. Does that count?”

“I know I should be on Twitter, but when would I find the time to twit?! (That is how you say it, hey? Twit?)”

Before you go getting all “hashtag-double-you-tee-eff” or “who’s this Kim Kardashian chick anyway?”… stop. Take a breath. Think back to the first time you did a Google search for your high school sweetheart. Or your first Skype call to your overseas relatives. Perhaps you even remember where you were the first time you saw someone using a cell phone. (“I’ll never get one of those. They’re expensive gimmicks that allow people to track you down 24/7. Waste of money.”) Do you still own a chequebook?

“There are loads of people who are totally intimidated by social media, just like they were completely daunted by fax machines, ATMs and VCRs,” says CN&CO’s resident word nerd, Colin Ford. “Embracing the new, or even befriending the new, makes them all jittery and sends them into a complete negative tail spin.

“But in truth, there’s nothing to be afraid of. Like other technological marvels of their day – for example, the golf-ball typewriter, the fax machine, the desktop computer, the digital watch – once you understand your social media platform of choice, it’s really easy to operate and can actually add massive value to your life.”

The difference between social media and all the examples mentioned so far is that you can’t break social media!

“People are afraid that they might do something wrong,” says Colin, “like accidentally sticking a screwdriver in a blender, or wiring a plug the wrong way. You can’t break it! And I challenge you to try.”

Colin is part of the CN&CO team that has been presenting Social Media 101 lessons to a bunch of clients and friends.

“It’s all about breaking down preconceptions and easing people gently into an online space where they feel safe and welcome,” he says. “Not every social network is for everyone. Some people feel more comfortable on Facebook, while other prefer LinkedIn. Perhaps you are happier on Instagram or Twitter – or even Pinterest! Wherever you feel comfortable is where you should be. There’s no judgement or snobbery here. But what we DO insist on is that you give it a go.”

So far we’ve had close to 100 people on Social Media 101. They’ve come from a wide variety of companies, including Lombard Insurance, ITOO Special Risks, RMB CIB, Jardim Financial Consulting, Centre for Development and Enterprise and others.

We’ve also presented social media workshops and talks at the Insurance Institute of South Africa in Johannesburg and to the Financial Intermediaries’ Association’s Border branch in East London.