Social Business: It’s NOT About the Next BIG Thing!

iStock 000014443005Small1 300x195 Social Business: Its NOT About the Next BIG Thing! A new network, tool or feature launches on a social network and we all flock to it.  Business leaders attend social media class after social media class searching for the social media “guru” who will once and for all be able to show them the magic answer to social media ROI. I don’t think I have ever taught a social media workshop or seminar when there wasn’t someone at the end of the class that asks “can’t you just tell me the exact top 3 things I need to do to make social media work for my business?”

It’s not about the next big thing!
Quit waiting and looking for the next social network that is going to save your business. Quit brainstorming 40 hours a week for the innovative campaign that is going to enable you to quit your job and retire to the Bahamas. Success is not going to come from Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or a high Klout score alone. Success will follow integration, proper planning and execution of a plan that aligns with your business and marketing goals.  Twitter followers, high influence scores, and Facebook likes will organically come with the execution of a plan that connects your target markets, community and partners with your brand.

There is no magic pill.
There is no “guru” that will ever be able to show you the social media cheaters recipe book or short cut formula to social relationships, fans on Facebook, community growth and a return on investment. If a consultant or agency informs you that they have the perfect answer to your problems and all you need is a Facebook page, run, Forrest run! Chances are they are ready to sell you nothing more than a set of random acts of social media (RAMs). RAMs are bad and although they make you feel good short term as you can cross tasks off your list, longer term they eat any sign of return on investment faster than you can measure it!

iStock 000011832565XSmall1 300x265 Social Business: Its NOT About the Next BIG Thing! It’s about more than ROI.
How can you ask to measure something that you can’t define? Quit looking at only the numbers and focus on social business success. Set goals that are attainable, measurable and time bound. The real questions include the ability to make decisions based upon the learning. How is social enabling you to become a better business? Are you improving customer satisfaction? Is brand equity increasing? Is brand loyalty improving? Are you building deeper relationships with your clients and partners. How are you using the insights learned via social listening and engagement to make improvements in your business?

Number of followers, likes & comments does not = success!
100,000 Twitter followers and 50,000 Facebook likes is not going to guarantee your business a return. Of course we all want to have the largest possible network that is on the edge of their seat waiting to listen and take note on our every word. However, the focus should be on an engaged audience. We need followers and a community that cares what we have to say. They need to see value in what we offer and understand how and why we can help them meet their business goals. A large number of followers increases the voice you have. However, your voice must offer more than noise for success. Seth Godin recently wrote a good post on this topic which I encourage you read “The Trap of Social Media Noise.”  Dare to be more than noise. Be the value that makes your community think when they wake up at 2:00 am!

Integration into the DNA of business  is a requirement, not an option.
Achieving a financial return on your investment is not going to happen by simply launching a Facebook page, building a Twitter following or launching and nurturing a LinkedIn group. The only way you are going to achieve success is if you figure out how to integrate social media into the DNA of your business. Doing such will require building bridges within your organization for people to work together, systems to integrate, training of staff and the ability to execute one vision while in the middle of a sea of change. It requires the development and evolution of process, measurement systems and a framework that supports such.

It’s going to take work.
Evolving your organization into a social business is not going to happen overnight. It’s going to take work. Real work. Roll up your sleeves, get your hands dirty and make it happen. There is no “guru” that will be able to give you the magic 3 steps you need to take for success.

iStock 000011589466XSmall 300x198 Social Business: Its NOT About the Next BIG Thing! There is no cookie cutter template for becoming a social business.
Every organization is different. What works for you is not a recipe for success for me. We have different goals, different objectives. Our communities want to engage with us in different ways. We have unique partners, brand positioning and more. Just because we can both launch a Facebook page, Twitter profile and blog doesn’t mean we should do it the same way.

One thing is certain, things are going to change.
There is one thing that is the same for every business who sets a goal to become a social business. Things are guaranteed to change. Throw out your old thinking, rules and even some of the old processes. What use to work to measure success is not the same as what works today. You can’t control the message, who delivers it when and where. Social media is dynamic, fluid, evolving and filled with movement. Trying to put a finger on it to keep it constant is simply not possible.  Embrace it. Learn to love and grow with the change and you will then be able to evolve with the ecosystem versus being left behind.

iStock 000010802338Small 300x199 Social Business: Its NOT About the Next BIG Thing! Social relationships are the lift raft to tech evolution.
In a world of tech evolution and a new social network popping up every week there is no lack of things to do each day. We could spend every day learning the next tool or “big thing.” However, this approach is a recipe for disaster if you don’t have a community ready to follow you to that new shiny object social network.

Social relationships take time to nurture. There are no short cuts. You must get in the head of your audiences, community, Facebook “likers” and blog readers. You need to learn what it is they want. How can you help them achieve their business goals? What can you do for them today, tomorrow and next month?

How can you build a relationship with the people of your online and offline communities that will weather the storm of tech evolution? If you have a loyal and engaged community that cares what you have to say because you bring them value, it doesn’t matter what social network you are on. If the new shiny social network becomes the next “big thing” chances are they will follow you to it.

Quit whining and do something about it!
As you enter 2012 it’s important to quit making up excuses. I don’t want to hear you have no budget, no resource or a plan. Get over it. I started my business after being laid off, husband laid off. We had just moved into a new big house and were in debt up to our eyeballs. I had one goal and that was to succeed. You must do the same.

If you have a staff of “nay sayers” who refuse to accept change, then fire them and replace them with people who want to ride the waves of social change with you.  If you don’t have the right tools and tech, then prioritize so that you do. Make the necessary decisions to enable success. Deal with the skeletons in the closet now. Build a plan for success versus whining about why you can’t. For me Plan B, Plan C and Plan D were just a modified version of Plan A , which had to work. Failure is not an option. Don’t be a business that is left behind in 2012. Be a business others learn from. Get out there and get-r-done peeps!

Your Turn
So what is your story? Have you been looking for the magic pill? The next best thing to help you achieve success as a social business? Is 2012 the year you are going to roll up your sleeves, get dirty, take the skeletons out of the closet and get-r-done? If you’ve already made good strides, what is it that helped you? How did you get the ball moving within the organization. Please share your experiences so you can help others. We are all better as a team helping one another than we are as silos in a sea of change.  

35 Social Media Truths
This post is part of a series on social business I am working on “35 Social Media Truths” inspired by keynote presentation I gave at Rochester Institute of  Technology. If you want to hear more, sign up for the 35 Social Media Truths Newsletter and you will receive all 35 of them over a period of time. Included will be different mediums such as free webinars, video, blog posts and more.

 

Related Articles: 

Walgreens Case Study: Humanizing Social Business

Slow Down to Speed Up  

People Don’t Buy Things, They Join Things

 Be Your Own Social Duck by Implementing with Results

 46 Tips to Show Up at the Right Field in the Social Business Game

 CEO Wants Klout: Days of Our Social Business (includes video)

41 Signs You are Not a Social Business  

 Are You Ready to be a Social Business? 10 Tips for a Zoom Start

Social Trust Factor: 10 Tips to Establish Credibility 

 

About the Author

Pam

*Forbes Top 10 Social Media Women, Forbes top 50 Social Media Power Influencer - CEO / founder of Marketing Nutz, full service social brand, digital marketing agency. Social media marketing speaker, author, strategist, consultant, coach, & trainer. I help businesses of all size integrate social media into the DNA of their business, connect with target audiences to nurture authentic customer relationships. 15+ years experience working with Fortune 500, Franchised corporations with 4000+ local franchises to entrepreneurs and startups!

  • BJMendelson

    @NaamalZafar Yes it is!

  • http://hotblogtips.com/ HotBlogTips

    As bloggers, I love this, “the focus should be on an engaged audience”. I see blogs with thousands of followers showing on their social stats and an Alexa well below 100k and have to search all over the place to find a single comment or interaction. The same with email lists, 100k + email subscribers that never even open your message much less click are just a liability and a sign of something gone wrong. Great advice!

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

      @HotBlogTips Amen!! Engagement is key. Numbers without engagement means zip, zero ;) Thanks for stopping by and conversing on Twitter. I look forward to further discussion!

  • PamMktgNut

    @garthobrien @stevecassady @topmovingtips @saad_two @jkcallas @mikefixs @jamiecrager @cmgmedia_de @sbhsbh Thx 4 the RT luvs!!

  • PamMktgNut

    @HotBlogTips Thanks so much! Glad you like it. I’ll have to check out your work too! I think chances are we have some common beliefs! :-)

    • HotBlogTips

      @PamMktgNut I’m sure of it. It looks like we both kicked Klout to the curb. lol

  • iggypin1

    Wow, Pam – you summed it up beautifully. What I really like about this post is that although social media is perceived as “new”, the concepts of Integrated marketing, engaging audiences and social relationships are traditional marketing principles.

    In my view, what’s new about social business is that we – individuals, groups and communities – are more connected than we ever have been in our history through this “now” technology. We have the tools (laptops, smartphones, tablets) and the social platforms that make this connection more effective and efficient than ever before. Any business that ignores this ever present opportunity does so at their peril.

    I wrote about this in a book called Connection Generation almost two years ago. I’d love to send you a copy if you DM me you postal address on twitter. ;)

    Cheers, Iggy Pintado

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

      @iggypin1 Thanks Iggy. Glad you liked it! Will have to check out your book. Sounds interesting! I agree with you. Those that ignore the opportunities lose at their own peril. The game is changing and people are at the core. It’s no longer about a logo or a sales slick. It’s about connecting with real people and starting w/the DNA within your own walls!

  • PamMktgNut

    @iggypintado Thanks Iggy! You’re the best!! Hope you are enjoying the weekend!!

  • stormbikes

    @GillLotter Hi Gill :))

    • GillLotter

      @stormbikes Yo! How you going? Still over-achieving ??

      • stormbikes

        @GillLotter yep except for the 3 very large glasses of red last night :))

        • GillLotter

          @stormbikes Good work! Gotta have a few REDS on the weekend

  • TC Galltin

    Amen!

  • Robert Lavigne

    kudos

  • PamMktgNut

    @Tribe2point0 thanks Kelly!

    • Tribe2point0

      @PamMktgNut You are welcome Pam:) Hope you are having a fantastic weekend! Are you all done shopping?

      • PamMktgNut

        @Tribe2point0 yup all done! Amen! Just picking up last minute extras & wrapping paper etc. how about you?

        • Tribe2point0

          @PamMktgNut Just need some stocking stuffers and I will be all set. Must finish decorating & start baking. feeling the magic of the season:)

  • pocojuan

    @wordsdonewrite @pammktgnut help me to reduce critical thinking & maintain my short attention span I need th nxt BG thing to distract me ;)

    • wordsdonewrite

      @pocojuan Look, Jon! Something shiny!

      • pocojuan

        @wordsdonewrite Thanx Amber I so much want tobe an involuntary beta test site for every new shiny thing – bring on the angst & frustration

    • PamMktgNut

      @pocojuan @wordsdonewrite I am soooo with you on this. I think we all need shiny object therapy. The 1st step is admitting, right!? ;)

      • wordsdonewrite

        @PamMktgNut @pocojuan I see a Shiny Object Support Group forming shortly. Perhaps a Say No to the Shiny Things tweetup?

      • pocojuan

        @PamMktgNut @wordsdonewrite thers a 13 step homeopathic Kloudiction Reduction of Addiction Program – bad acronym – but great concept ;)

  • http://www.tripylonmedia.com SirousKavehercy

    Great insights Pam! Could not agree with you more. Good to see more and more people like yourself talk about this problem which is caused by too many “fake experts” as @lilachbullock refers to them. Organizations need a mind shift.

    I am hoping that 2012 will be the year in which we can help businesses stop following the hype and think seriously about WHY they need social media and WHAT they want do with it. At the moment it seems to be all about trends, tips and tricks on the usage of social media and no actual benefits for many businesses.

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

      @SirousKavehercy@LilachBullock YES! Why is the key question any business doing anything needs to be asking themselves. If they can’t answer the WHY then chances are they should NOT be doing such! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your insight.

  • MZazeela

    Excellent Pam! Surely you jest? No Magic pill? No 100% solution? How disappointing! :-)

    Besides, who really knows what the next big thing is going to be? MySpace? Blockbuster? Beta Max?

    Today’s big thing may be tomorrow’s bigger bust. Banking on a hope and a prayer is a pretty weak business model. So, instead of waiting for something big to happen, go out and MAKE it happen!

    Cheers,Marc

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

      @MZazeela Sorry, no magic pills here ;) I agree with you 100%! Yes, go out there and get-r-done!!

  • connectyou

    Pam,

    Wonderful perspective, and so well-phrased. Perfect timing — I’ve passed this along to my followers as a reference.

    Thanks for sharing! :)

    ~Keri

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

      @connectyou Thanks so much Keri. Nice to see your smiling face around these parts. ;) Thanks for sharing with your community as well. Hope you have a wonderful Holiday!

  • businessenhancement

    Absolutely Fantastic – actually, Absolutely Phenomenal Article on Social Media Marketing!!!! The facts given within the written material, were right on point with Social Media Marketing, what it really is about, the hard work it takes to be successful, that it’s new technology and you just better get used to it – but most importantly I find…. You hit it right on, throughout the entire article, about the WHOLE PROCESS, that social media marketing actually is. Most people miss that factor, give up too soon for not seeing results in a month ( I mean come-on… but it’s true) and we need to educate more and more that it’s a whole process and though you only see minimal results at first, if you see it through correctly, the ouctome is astounishing. And I think your article put my words right here, together with all the details needed.

    Working as an independent contractor doing web design and seo for 2 years, and jumping it up to the next level this year, 2011, with a full business, web site, my own social media and the whole 9 yards; -I couldn’t have written such a profound article myself, and you couldn’t have done better to get all these points across. So kudos for you!!!

    I always love taking the time a couple days a week to find good material and comment on it, becuase i can take the knowledge I have and add to it or transform it with better systems and information, like you gave, so I thank you. One concern…. or more like question I have, is how exactly do you take the social media acccounts and completely integrate it in with everything in your business to be a SOCIAL BUSINESS. My website is young as of this year, and that is the best concept I’ve read since I opened the site and would probably bring it to action. Since my site is young, I can do it now, befoe everything ends up set in stone. How exactly does one integrate it (social media marketing) all together with the business, though??? Luckily I do SEO and Web Design with a partner in the business so I have a head start, but if you could provide any info on that, I’d be very grateful! :D -And, I understand, we have to come up with ways on our own to use social media to market our services to our connections.

    Overall conclusion: Thank you for a well thought out, whole process, article on social media. We all need to start educating our clients or learners about how much of a PROCESS Social media marketing, or any SEO service at that, actually is -and to see it through correctly, will provide astounishing results. Thank you for this.

    Regards,

    David K.

  • businessenhancement

    Great Article

  • businessenhancement

    Absolutely Fantastic – actually, Absolutely Phenominal Article on Social Media Marketing!!!! The facts given within the written material, were right on point with Social Media Marketing, what it really is about, the hard work it takes to be successful, that it’s new technology and you just better get used to it – but most importantly I find…. You hit it right on, throughout the entire article, about the WHOLE PROCESS, that social media marketing actually is. Most people miss that factor, give up too soon for not seeing results in a month ( I mean come-on… but it’s true) and we need to educate more and more that it’s a whole process and though you only see minimal results at first, if you see it through correctly, the ouctome is astounishing. And I think your article put my words right here, together with all the details needed.

    Working as an independent contractor doing web design and seo for 2 years, and jumping it up to the next level this year, 2011, with a full business, web site, my own social media and the whole 9 yards; -I couldn’t have written such a profound article myself, and you couldn’t have done better to get all these points across. So kudos for you!!!

    Regards,

    David K.

  • businessenhancement

    Absolutely Fantastic – actually, Absolutely Phenominal Article on Social Media Marketing!!!! The facts given within the written material, were right on point with Social Media Marketing, what it really is about, the hard work it takes to be successful, that it’s new technology and you just better get used to it – but most importantly I find…. You hit it right on, throughout the entire article, about the WHOLE PROCESS, that social media marketing actually is. Most people miss that factor, give up too soon for not seeing results in a month ( I mean come-on… but it’s true) and we need to educate more and more that it’s a whole process and though you only see minimal results at first, if you see it through correctly, the ouctome is astounishing. And I think your article put my words right here, together with all the details needed.

    Working as an independent contractor doing web design and seo for 2 years, and jumping it up to the next level this year, 2011, with a full business, web site; http://www.businessenhancement.net , my own social media and the whole 9 yards; -I couldn’t have written such a profound article myself, and you couldn’t have done better to get all these points across. So kudos for you!!!

    Regards,

    David Kaye

  • businessenhancement

    Absolutely Fantastic – actually, Absolutely Phenomenal Article on Social Media Marketing!!!! The facts given within the written material, were right on point with Social Media Marketing, what it really is about, the hard work it takes to be successful, that it’s new technology and you just better get used to it – but most importantly I find…. You hit it right on, throughout the entire article, about the WHOLE PROCESS, that social media marketing actually is. Most people miss that factor, give up too soon for not seeing results in a month ( I mean come-on… but it’s true) and we need to educate more and more that it’s a whole process and though you only see minimal results at first, if you see it through correctly, the outcome is astonishing. And I think your article put it together, with all the details needed.

    Working as an independent contractor doing web design and seo for 2 years, and jumping it up to the next level this year, 2011, with a full business, web site http://www.businessenhancement.net , my own social media and the whole 9 yards; -I couldn’t have written such a profound article myself, and you couldn’t have done better. So kudos for you!!!

    Regards,

    David K.

  • http://germinatemarketing.com GerminateHolly

    As an agency, again brilliant! Sometimes we need to talk people off the ledge that social isn’t the only answer, once you’re in the pool you have to continue to swim, ideating 40 hours a day on a great campaign doesn’t make for an organic social experience (users know and honestly their agency/people dollars could be spent smarter), and most importantly there must be an integrated strategy that utilizes more than a social channel. We can’t only stand on a social leg. Don’t get me wrong – I love social business. Thank you for this and let’s continue to spread the word!

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

      @GerminateHolly Thanks and glad you liked it! Yes, as hard as it may be to eliminate the random acts of marketing, it is what must be done. RAMs feel so good short term as we can cross tasks off the list. However, medium term they don’t feel so good as we look back and try to rationalize why we did what we did!

      Thanks for taking time to stop by and comment. Great to connect with you!

  • PamMktgNut

    @socialmouths thank you Francisco! Happy Holidays!!! You working this week?

  • PamMktgNut

    @andynathan thanks Andy!! :-)

  • SuzyDominguez

    RT @JessicaNorthey: Social Business: It’s NOT About the Next BIG Thing! http://t.co/8OROYnIM via @PamMktgNut
    .

  • _LeonieGSmith

    @AskKim Thanks for the Klout !!! :) love it

  • gilagideon

    OMG, loved the (RAMs) . Great post although it wont help , people will keep running to build FB pages as it was a magic spell. Gila http://www.effectiva.co.il

  • gilagideon

    OMG, loved the (RAMs) . Great post although it wont help , people will keep running to build FB pages as if it was a magic spell that can make you rich. Gila http://www.effectiva.co.il

  • PamMktgNut

    @douglasi Hey Doug! Thanks for the RT luvs! How ya’ beeee? Ready for the holiday?? Hope all is well with you!

  • PamMktgNut

    @jaybaer Hey thanks Jay! I still owe you an email & you /me a book!! I’ll get on that today, promise!

  • PamMktgNut

    @hensel Thanks Marieke!! Hope you had a jolly holiday & Merry
    Christmas!

  • http://www.mybluegrace.com SamHill

    Right on Pam! This is a great review of social media and business… How to engage and also what NOT to do. Thanks so much and definitely will share with others! :D

    -Community Manager, BlueGrace Logistics

  • PamMktgNut

    @MyBlueGrace Thank you!! Looking forward to our meeting today. Just shot you an email w/411! Woot!

  • Pam Moore @PamMktgNut

    Thanks all!!

  • DivingJon

    Great point Pam, so many people are looking for a non existant magic pill. Magic pills don’t exist in this or any other part of your business. Yes sometimes people strike lucky, but that’s normally because they’ve been doing the right thing

  • ScottRMadsen

    @PamMktgNut Did u have some Walgreens guest? Do they know your true love is Wal Mart?

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