Can the humble phone be mightier than social media?

What’s the difference between a telephone call and a social media post?

When you talk on a telephone you’re talking with someone; on social media you’re in a one-way conversation with anyone.

And in the hard-nosed world of business to business commerce which we inhabit, sales are made person-to-person, one-by-one. Lest there be any confusion, sales are the only things that matter in business. And it’s not a sale until the money is in your bank. Anything which impedes that process must be removed or by-passed.

So where does that leave social media?

I regularly go to meetings, sit in on seminars and attend conferences about social media. I completely get what Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn offer in terms of awareness and cheap marketing. What I have yet to find out is what part they play in the sales process.

If Toyota and Ford, undoubtedly the automotive sector’s leading players on social media, ceased to post on those platforms, would it affect their sales?

It seems there is no way to establish the actual answer as opposed to the answers that social media advocates deliver.

I am coming to believe that social media’s purpose in a business context is to make money for founders initially and shareholders eventually, assuming a successful IPO.

I have yet to see any genuine evidence – facts and statistics as opposed to opinions – that there is value for SMEs to spend extravagant amounts of money on social media marketing.

Alexander Graham Bell’s suggestion as to the correct way to answer a ringing telephone was to bellow ‘Ahoy’ into the instrument. Montgomery Burns, the avuncular legend from Springfield still uses ‘Hello’ as suggested by Thomas Edison.

Me, I’m happy to use either so long as I know to whom I am speaking and the reason for the call. It’s that personal touch that social media could never fulfil.