Dear Social Media Leaders, Practice What You Preach and #BeHuman!

photodune 1046143 get real suggestion xs1 Dear Social Media Leaders, Practice What You Preach and #BeHuman! The time has come we get real once and for all on the human aspect and lack there of within the social landscape.

For those of us who eat, sleep and breathe this stuff we can see the good, bad and ugly with our eyes closed. We see the cracks, the dents, the holes and the blossoms. We can see the social diamond in the rough or the shiny object that is really a fake rock needing thrown back in the pile.

I am fortunate to have the gift of often seeing things before they happen in business, seeing trends before they emerge. I see bubbles before they burst. I see brands start to decline before they explode. I see Twitter pages filled with spam headed for brand deterioration. I see brands wasting thousands on social media because they have no real plan to integrate nor know the first thing about their audience and target markets.

This post has two specific messages to two specific audiences. First is to the folks teachin’ and preachin. The second is to everybody else.

iStock 000002286404Small 1 300x199 Dear Social Media Leaders, Practice What You Preach and #BeHuman! The social ecosystem has nuts of all sizes.

The social ecosystem is filled with everything from newbies, seasoned brands and marketers to internet marketing junkies and even snake oil scammers who pretend they are all of the above.

There are trusted leaders, self proclaimed gurus and everything in between teaching and preaching. They may be offering webcasts, webinars, podcasts, ebooks, magic social media formulas, selling training courses, leading brands or simply tweeting tips all day.

There are the 15 and 20 year internet marketer veterans who are overnight expert business executives and coaches ready to help you integrate social into your corporation or small business. Of course knowing how to get Facebook fans and Twitter followers makes one an overnight professional at building successful businesses, right!?

Yes, some of these folks may know what they are doing. However, there are many who can’t run their own business, let alone yours.

Chances are you follow some of these same folks. You hang on to their words, guidance, and tips so that you may too someday be like them and have thousands of followers, fans and comments on your blog.

Don’t swallow the magic social media pills. 

iStock 000005955366Small 300x199 Dear Social Media Leaders, Practice What You Preach and #BeHuman! Be careful who you follow, listen to and what actions you take based on such. There is no short cut, magic pill or secret formula to success in social business and integrating social media into your business. Yes, there are best practices but you can not avoid needing to know your audience and how you can inspire and connect with them to help them achieve their goals if you want real results.

This post is not intended to provide a blueprint for developing a social media plan. Social media is not rocket science and we do not need to over complicate such. My blog is loaded with helpful tips, strategies, tactics and templates to help you do all of the above. If you are stuck call us, we can help.

For those teachin and preachin’

photodune 3095418 miniature figure on rostrum xs Dear Social Media Leaders, Practice What You Preach and #BeHuman! Practice what you preach.

If you tweet and preach constantly the importance of being human, engaging, building relationships and being human then you yourself need to be human.

Look in the tweet mirror. Is your social media behavior and actions you are teaching really teaching people to be human? Or are you teaching them to be robots that engage 24/7 without a plan other than to raise their Klout or Kred score?

Tweeting and posting automated messages to Facebook 24/7 non-stop even on Holidays, while on vacation, in the hospital or at your child’s dance recital or entire soccer game is not human.

Being human means being real. It means connecting as human beings. It means not auto scheduling posts 7 days a week 24 hours a day.

There is only one way to do social media and that is the way that works for you and your business. I am not one to judge what others are doing as I do not know your business. However, based on what I am seeing many leaders preach and teach, their actions are blatantly opposite of their preachin’ and teachin’!

If this message hits home with you then you know who you are. You know your message is different than your actions.

Are you building relationships or an influence score?

I challenge you to look deep within. Is what you are doing really working? Are you working more on relationships or on your social influence score? If it’s not an influence score then why do you tweet the same things every three days? Where is the human in your voice, tone, schedule, and life?

Your  community wants you to be human! Maybe they want you to enjoy your kids choir concert or science fair without an iPhone in your hand. Your community needs the inspiration you receive and feed back to them after you truly shut off. When you focus on being a #Handsfreemama or #Handsfreefamily you come back with more to give all those who are sitting waiting on your every word.

You live only one life!

You only live one life. Your clients and their family and friends only live one life. Quit teaching them to waste it all away tweeting. They may just automate the inspiration, the human nature right out of it. They may miss the best moments of connecting in real life, looking someone in the eye and the moments that happen only once in a life time.

For everybody else

iStock 000007682145XSmall1 300x199 Dear Social Media Leaders, Practice What You Preach and #BeHuman! There is only one way to do social media and that is the way that works for you and your business.

Take what you learn from folks and digest it. Listen to their words, digest it. However, most importantly figure out what it means to you. Figure out what it means to your audience, your customers, your community. What does it mean to you? Your family? Your friends? Your business? Your life?

I challenge you to take a step back and also look in the tweeting and Facebook mirror. Are you turning into a robot? Or are you being human? Are you spending more time scheduling tweets than you are sending them real-time?

If your gut is telling you that you are losing touch with your softer side, that you are losing touch with your community, customers, family and friends, then chances are high that you are.

It’s not too late. Put the automation on the shelf. Use it when you need to, but balance the automation with real conversation and human to human interaction.

Yes, social media takes time. It takes work. The greatest benefits in the long run are not going to come to those with only the highest influence scores or an internet marketer who fooled thousands into thinking it does. The benefits will come in the form of real relationships. Relationships that were birthed and nurtured all hours of the day, real time and with real people, not bots.

Dare to take your relationships deeper than they have been before. Take a tweet offline to a face to face meeting or a phone call. Talk to the people you have had on the list to talk to for a year.

Get real on who and what you are.

Be human, period. The heartbeat of social media is you and me.

If we lose who we are, what we are and our “humanness” isn’t it all for nothin’!?

What You Say? 

Are you being human or a robot? There really is only one answer. There is not a “kind of human, kind of robot.” You are either human or you’re not.

 

Join the Conversation #GetRealChat

grcl1.fw  300x300 Dear Social Media Leaders, Practice What You Preach and #BeHuman! We are excited to dig deep into this conversation over the coming weeks and months with our #GetRealChat community. We meet weekly on Tuesdays at 9pm et via Twitter.

Here are three near term opportunities for you to engage with me, other industry leaders and a wonderful community of folks who are living life as human beings.

12/4/12: Webinar sponsored by SAP, hosted by Business to Community. I’ll be speaking on the power and future of social communities in 2013.  Register NOW!

12/4/12 9pm et: #GetRealChat - Margot Heiligman from SAP is special guest on #GetRealChat. Will be continuing discussion from webinar earlier in day. We’ll be digging deep into relationships and power of conversations.

12/11/12 9pm et: #GetRealChat –  Special guests David Cooperstein from Forrester Research and Tami Cannizzaro of IBM -“Marketing Revolution: What CMOs Need to Know Now!”

 

Heartbeat of Social Media Series

iStock 000014976597XSmall Dear Social Media Leaders, Practice What You Preach and #BeHuman! This blog post is part of a new series titled “The Heartbeat of Social Media“. It will include a deep look at how communities work, what people are doing within them and how businesses can better understand how they can fit in, provide value and derive benefit as both a business as well as individual people.

Subscribe to the series for updates and access to special videos, webinar training and more. Would love to hear your input and have you participate in discussions and debates as we challenge each other to be part of what makes the social network heartbeat healthy and alive in 2012!

About the Author

Pam Moore

*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!

  • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

    Hi Pam, I’d like to think I’m human!!! What I really enjoy is meeting people in person. We have exchanged some thoughts but no matter how much we exchange information on line when we meet it will be completely different and our relationship going forward will be different. So offline is very important part of social media! I’m going to blogworld in January and the Social Media Examiner conference in April, maybe we’ll meet at one of them!!! Ian

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com PamMktgNut

      @iancleary:disqus Yes Ian, we MUST try to meet in 2013! I am determined to put many in real life faces with twitter avatars in 2013. I agree that the face to face meeting is what makes it real. I may be at Blogworld in January, trying to fit it in.

      • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

        Great, the first drink is on me!!

  • Ross Quintana

    Nice post Pam, There is always the danger of over automation. There is a portion of information dissemination that can be scheduled, but I find that it isn’t the key, it actually frees me up to interact more. I also know that you have to be real and have a voice in the sea of content. You can’t automate relationships. I know I have been looking at my strategies to, “practice what I preach” and it does us all good to recheck what we are doing and how we are doing it to make sure it lines up with what we want to represent. I am a student of social media and influence and I appreciate your insight :]

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com PamMktgNut

      Hi @RossQuintana:disqus. I have to do the same thing. There are some days I purposely don’t get on Triberr or pause the sends to ensure there is not too much automation. I read every post I tweet and put quality as #1 priority.

      I agree that relationships can not be automated. They take investment and time.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and taking time to comment. Appreciate it.

  • http://www.simplicityadmins.com/ Sarah Santacroce

    Great post, Pam ! And I totally agree with you – if Social Media becomes automated, it’s completely useless. Since that’s really where the engagement takes place. I recently wrote a post on how to make LinkedIn more social, since I think even LinkedIn IS a social network and many people still don’t treat it as such. I agree with Ian, meeting in person is the best, but being based in Switzerland it makes it a bit harder ;-) Great post, I just recently discovered your blog and will be back for sure !

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com PamMktgNut

      Hi @Simplicityadmins:disqus great to meet you! I agree with you on LinkedIn as many people seem to treat it as a spam platform. I am still a big believer in the platform though and hope LinkedIn will get thru this initial phase and learn quickly gaming is not going to help them succeed. I could do without the endorsements game etc as it simply cheapens the system in my opinion.

      Will be great to see you around these nut parts! Looks like you’ll fit in great and have value to offer

      • http://www.simplicityadmins.com/ Sarah Santacroce

        Hi again Pam, I saw your post on endorsements and also have mixed feelings about them. Don’t know where LinkedIn is going with this… Recommendations are so much more powerful. I recently got endorsed for a skill that I didn’t even know I had (in other words I suck at it, and it was definitely not on my list of skills) ! – Sarah (Simplicity)

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  • Sandy Appleyard

    I agree with you as well, Pam. I began a while ago using Hootsuite and found initially my website traffic increased, but it staggered. What really made my website traffic skyrocket was posting engaging blogs. After posting one very poignant Twitter blog, I had a record number of visitors, and it’s been on a steady incline ever since. Being human and posting relevant articles and tweets is what really works. Hands down!

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com PamMktgNut

      Amen @sandyappleyard:disqus !!

  • http://twitter.com/janebinnion jane binnion

    Really good reminder, thanks Pam, I am going to share this. . I have people say that the way to manage twitter is to schedule all your posts on a Monday. It drives me nuts!

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com PamMktgNut

      Thanks Jane! Glad you liked it.

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  • http://www.gitccy.com/ Sheri Bruneau

    Great post Pam! I love the section, ‘For those teachin’ and preachin”. I believe it’s so important to show that you are human.

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com PamMktgNut

      Thanks @bruneaus:disqus . Yes, being human is a requirement not an option. The brands and leaders who get this will truly jump ahead of competition in the next 18 mos+.

  • http://twitter.com/RobbinsInt Stephanie Robbins

    Great post. I would love to hear your thoughts about being human as a consumer brand. I struggle with this with my clients. They always want me to be more ‘corporate.’ I want to be more friendly. Where do you find the balance.