By age 15, Grandpa sold produce off a big, Chevy truck in Holyoke, Massachusetts. He climbed the stairs of tenements, carrying the orders of customers. His customers were regulars. He knew what they wanted. After dropping off deliveries, people sometimes asked, “Got any bananas?”
Grandpa started the business with his father. Grocery stores mostly sold canned goods. A milkman delivered milk and dairy. People bought other items at bakery and butcher shops. Grandpa sold produce all day, every day. Friday nights, he counted his money, all cash.
How great would it have been for me to help Grandpa with Facebook and Twitter in the 1920s, posting the future routes of his truck like drivers do today? He wouldn’t “get it,” so naturally I would have served as his social media strategist. How did his business survive without a Facebook Timeline?
Grandpa drove to customers’ homes, shouting out his arrival in courtyards. Shouting? Exchanging online posts with people who can’t even see you face-to-face is so much more civilized. How did he know if people liked him without the ability for people to “Like” him? No fan page, no easy way of sharing pictures of his Chevy, no call to action.
Without a social media strategist, who would pick out his Timeline’s cover art or update his LinkedIn profile? How did Grandpa start a conversation without 20 social media strategists on Twitter providing him daily tips? How did Grandma know where the heck he was without any way for him to update his status? For goodness sake, how did he build an audience without inviting email contacts?
We’re lucky we live in an age when humans finally found a better way to carry on conversations and conduct business.