I can't help but be frustrated by the old advice today's marketing firms are passing off as "new" advice. It's not that the advice isn't useful or necessary, it's that…it's been said – and it's directed at companies that should know better. IMHO
Case in point: MediaPost blogs is a favorite resource of mine and while I don't get to read all of the blogs, I do manage to tune in to a few key blogs every week. This week I decided to read Chad Capellman's post on "Are You Ready For The Success Of Your Social Media Strategy?"
My expectation was to receive advice on tools I might use to manage success on Facebook, twitter, or my blog. That's not what happened.
Let's make sure we're clear here – Chad is talking to the health industry and they are still far behind the rest of us in adopting social media tools. So, basic advice is likely welcomed. However, I take umbrage with the idea that any company today which has decided to engage in social media has done so without thinking it through. Are companies still jumping in feet first, without any strategic thinking? Maybe Lena knows.
And, on top of that, I am mystified by any company that thinks it wasn't engaged in social media even before venturing online. Seriously. Isn't ALL business about…being social? Can you do business without engaging with other people? Is the concept of social new and innovative???
No, social media is not new. Social media and social marketing are just new phrases describing old activities now being performed on the net. The word "social" acts much the same today as it did two hundred years ago. If you were in business then, you were social by getting face-to-face, whether that was in the marketplace, a boardroom, a client's office, or in your 'store' with customers. And, in being 'social' you not only talked about yourself and your products, you asked questions of your customers/clients and empoyees and you listened to their answers – in other words, you engaged in conversation with them.
All the better to find out what you needed to do to stay in business and keep them happy.
In Chad's article, he notes, "If you're "just running" the outward-facing part of the social media equation, it's difficult to truly leverage the insights of your audience. You need help from other team members who can actually effect the change your audience is asking for. You need them to be receptive to new ideas, and to implement changes where they need to occur."
To which I want to know – who doesn't already know that? What company, today or last year or last century, doesn't know they have to give employees and clients and customers and partners and everyone they meet and talk to the power to engage in conversation??? Who goes into a social setting like Facebook, twitter, Skype, blogs, lunch, cocktail parties arranged for business, etc. and doesn't know there has to be a give and take???
If you don't know that, why are you in business? There is nothing in Chad's article that isn't common sense. When are we, as businesses doing our work online, going to understand that "social" means … just that? Don't talk at me, talk with me.