Social Media -YOU gotta do it

Social media engagement does not happen by accident. It does not do itself. Sure, there are those random occurrences where you get a referral or a hit from someone you just met on Twitter, but trust me, it almost never happens until you’ve put some effort into your Twitter presence.

If your blog is an automated sales pitch with comments turned off, do us all a favor and just go take out an ad and get over it.

Social media is work. It’s good work. It’s important work. It has as much (or more) value to your business as the money and energy you put into your traditional marketing campaigns, and in the long run it will pay off in serendipitous ways you never could have seen coming.

But not unless you do the work.

“But I’m busy” you whimper… Tough. Get over it or don’t do it.
Social media done wrong is just as bad for your brand as traditional media gone wrong, except that the negative news flies faster in social than it it ever did before. It also gets archived instantly and replayed over and over and over and….

The thing is this is how our lives and businesses will be marketed going forward. Our lives are transitioning to online communication in almost every aspect. You can be at the leading edge of that wave or paddle fast to catch up with your competition later.

You CAN do this
There are lots of ways to do social media efficiently.
I don’t mean automation or hiring offshore “assistants” to do it for you either. While there are lots of things you CAN outsource and still be authentic, when it comes to engaging people, getting to know them and creating evangelists for your business you’ve just got to roll up your sleeves and get to it.

Entrepreneurs instinctively know this. They may hand off functions of their business to others, especially as it grows, but in the beginning they transmit their passion for their business personally. They wear their brand on their sleeve. They read everything they can get their hands on to make their business better and talk to everyone who can help them. What better way to do that than through social media?

I’m reading an amazing book from Steven Pressfield right now called “Do the Work“. (Actually I’m listening to the audio-book since I drive a lot and I’m a chronic multi-tasker). Steven’s kick in the ass, take no prisoners attitude inspired this post and I hope you will read his book too. And then get off your duff and make a plan to really engage for your business.

  • fouts
  • Updated July 29, 2011
Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 3 comments
Dave Land

This week, I got a response from Mark Fox, Jr., the CEO of Goodwill Industries of Silicon Valley after tweeting a wise crack about “GW of Los Altos”, the name of their store in tony Los Altos, CA. He’s got to be a busy guy. He could easily be the kind of CEO who has “better things to do with his time than fiddle around with Twitter”, but there he is, taking the time to (gently, but pointedly) address a comment by some random dude. We have tweeted back and forth a couple more times on the effect of Los Altos’ signage requirements on his brand. I don’t know Mr. Fox, but our brief interaction makes him more of a person to me, thanks to his “doing the work” of social media. I appreciate that he cares enough about his brand to address this with me.

In your tweet leading to this post, you asked, rhetorically, whether followers thought that Social Media was free, cheap or easy. It’s not — on several fronts — and I’m grateful that it isn’t, because my family is fed by revenue from the brands who engage the services of my employer, LiveWorld. It’s not just the time that C-level executives and others need to invest in representing their brands (and themselves — as you obviously recognize, it’s not just another advertising or PR channel), but also investments in listening to and understanding their fans and followers, responding appropriately, moderating conversations around their brand, recognizing and rewarding those who engage with them and featuring especially trenchant comments.

For me, Social Media is both a pastime and a full-time job.

Janet Fouts

Well said Dave, and good for Mark Fox Jr for truly representing his organization!

Brittany at Sprout Social

Wow, I’m pretty impressed with Dave’s example of Mark Fox — sounds like he truly exemplifies “being the brand”. It’s always great to see when C-level executives get involved in social media rather than ignore it. I completely understand that it’s time consuming, but those occasional responses and comments can really help set your business apart from your competitors!


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