There has been so much written and recorded about social media in historic and social media channels. The coverage in the various blogs and tweets runs the gamut between opportunism and relevance. You’ll find the 3, 5 or 10 things you need to know about twitter etiquette, making the most of twitter, how to drive traffic to you blog, how to get thousands of followers in a matter of days or weeks and, most importantly, how to make money using social media.
Our goal at the Community Marketing Blog has been to avoid opportunism and provide relevance – 5, 6 or 7 points of relevance. However, I am not going to tell you about those points today. In fact, there are 5 ½ things that I am not going to tell you about social media.
- I am not going to tell you that it’s easy because it’s not. It’s hard work. In recent presentations by Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee from Winelibrary.com) and the people behind the Doritos Guru Campaign they both mentioned how much effort was required. This is not a get rich quick scheme. In Gary’s case, it’s a relentless and highly focused effort to establish and maintain engagement with his audience. With Doritos, they were accustomed to creating an ad and running it with little to no effort required once the ad was ready but with social media-based campaigns they must remain engaged and staff appropriately for the duration of the campaign to handle the volume of interactions and content accumulation.
- I am not going to tell you that it’s complicated because it’s not. It’s simple. I know what you’re thinking. I just finished saying that it wasn’t easy. What I mean is that it’s hard work but it’s not complicated work. Some social media gurus might take offense to that statement. Calm down. I am not trying to offend anyone but the underlying principles of social media are not complicated. Sharing, communicating, relevancy, transparency and being helpful are not difficult to understand. The difficulties or complexities seem to come from the inability of people or brands to be comfortable sharing, communicating, providing relevant content, being transparent, and being helpful.
- I’m not going to tell you that things won’t go wrong because they can and, possibly, will go wrong. There are numerous examples where social media tools were used to publicly shame organizations like Dell, Dominos, United Airlines, Comcast, and Amazon when they screwed up. The key is to be prepared for such events, take responsibility quickly and own it. Admit you were wrong and explain what you are going to do to make it right. Even if you weren’t wrong but someone is raising a concern then at least acknowledge the concern and commit to investigating it in pursuit of a satisfactory resolution. Silence and/or indifference will not be tolerated so be prepared to step up.
- I’m not going to tell you that you’ll get rich quickly because you won’t. Doing anything in social media requires a great deal of time and effort. Do you have the patience and stamina to stick with it for a payoff that may not come for a while or, even it when it comes, is not as big as you hoped for? Building trusting relationships takes time and commitment. There are plenty of people promoting social media for getting rich quickly but it is and always will be about quality of relationships over quantity of followers and friends.
- I’m not going to tell you that anyone can do social media because that’s not true. Not everyone is comfortable with all of the aspects of social media. Some people are not comfortable sharing like others do. Organizations are uneasy about the lack of control. Incorporate only what feels right because the discomfort will be evident if you try to do it all only to fall short in some areas. There is also the risk of making a mistake and having that mistake broadcast which is, I’m sure, not your objective. So if you are a better writer than talker then blog. If you are better talker than writer then do podcasts. If brevity is your thing then tweet. If you want to do more or all of it then outsource, delegate, or give a partner whatever you are not good at or not comfortable with.
5.5 I’m not going to tell you all of it but I will tell you half of it. It’s about a two-way conversation and you’re one half of that conversation. Your audience is the other half and they want to be engaged. They want to communicate with you. Are you ready? Can you give me 3, 5, or 10 reasons why or why not?