However, it’s important to remember that the use of Social Media is still in its infancy. This means that we are still learning and testing best uses, methods, approaches and tools to figure out how they best fit our brand.
I think that makes this era very exciting. These are tools that are being built and developed by others, but WE are the ones who are deciding how we want to use them. The ball is in our court. The use of these tools can help us accomplish our goals if we put some
behind them. This is not a time or a place to look for shortcuts.
Like any long-term relationship-building tools or practices we have used in the past, Social Networking takes time. We can not expect to establish our profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, MH Connected and other sites one day, and have productive relationships the next day, week, month and sometimes even year. This is not a sprint. It’s a marathon that has many finish lines based on the goals you have set. It’s not a one-time campaign, but a commitment.
Yes, commitment takes energy. There are some days when we just don’t feel like talking to people. We don’t feel like picking up the phone, sending an email, driving to that board meeting or doing anything that has to do with another human being. We can all get away with that for a day or two every now and then, but not for long. If we expect to grow our practices, we have no choice but to expend the energy necessary to get out and connect with our clients and potential clients. This is no different with Social Networking.
Some say we can overthink Social Networking by worrying about strategy. As a marketer, I have been running around strategic sales, management and marketing for over 20 years in various capacities, and at various levels. What I know for sure is that on those occasions when we took the time to think about what we wanted to accomplish, with whom, when we wanted to do it, how we planned on doing it, who would be responsible for what tasks, how much it would cost, and what it would look like if we were successful, the results were always much more rewarding and productive. We were focused.
Social Networking takes passion; passion to learn, passion to ask for help when it’s needed, passion to want to actually interact with the people we need to get to know as well as those we want to get to know, passion to stay the course when we’re tired, passion to get in the game when we’d rather be doing something else, and the passion that draws us to want to be here instead of somewhere else. We also must have passion for what we are offering our clients, as well as passion for our clients. Trust me, it shows when there’s no passion behind a Social Networking effort.
You can’t do any of this without the right people. You can automate the delivery of just about anything having to do with marketing, but you can’t have an effective presence in Social Media without living, breathing, thinking human beings that have the skills and talents necessary to know how to talk to people, to follow up on something someone said, to look for opportunities to share information, to find ways to share what others have posted, to think fast when something looks wrong, or to know what to do when presented with an opportunity. If you want to be in this game, you have to commit to having the right people to get it done.
What would you add to this list?
Thanks to Phil Roeder for the use of the image above.