What would you do if I told you that the only way to become a social business in 2012 is to not do social media? There is a big difference between “doing social media” and “becoming a social business”.
There are plenty of self proclaimed social media gurus and experts ready to tell and sell you how to strike it rich. From magic sales funnels, twitterati clubs to magic potions that fast track your achievement of the online jackpot!
The truth is most of these same experts have no content of their own, and have online communities on Facebook and Twitter that are far from engaging. Half of them don't know the first thing about business or marketing let alone how to integrate social media into business. Yet these same social magic potion makers are ready to take your credit card with a promise of soaring you to green pastures of social media fame and success.
Every time we teach a seminar or speak as a keynote there is always a hand full of people in the room that seem to be jumping from seminar to seminar in hopes of finding that guru that is going to finally give them the secret sauce. Sometimes they even seem frustrated as they think once again they got ripped off, that we didn't give them the magic social B12 shot that is going to zoom them to success. There is usually at least one person who will ask at the very end, “wow, so this is really going to take work!?” Yes, it is going to take work folks.
The only way to do social media is the way that works for you and your business!
The number one question I get asked by those new to social media is “how do I make social media work for my business”? I want to point out two words in this question “my business“.
My answer is always the same. There is only one way to do social media and that is the way that works for you and your business.
Sorry folks, but there is no magic pill, potion, secret sauce or template that can fast track results for you without some work on your part.
There is also no guru, expert, thought leader or influencer that can possibly give you the secret sauce in a seminar or class without understanding your business, objectives and audience. If any agency or consultant offers you a templated plan or strategy without first understanding your business, your objectives and your audience, RUN Forrest RUN!
So, you might as well roll up your sleeves and get to work! The only way you can make steps toward becoming a social business is if you build a plan that aligns with your business goals and objectives. Integrating social media into the DNA of your business is your best bet for success!
As you kickoff the planning, prioritizing, integration, goal setting and implementation of social media in 2012 I have a few tips (30 of them) to keep you focused.
30 Tips To Stay Focused On Your Business in 2012
1. Accept the fact there is no magic potion, pill, secret sauce or social media twitterati ninja that can give you the answers to become a social business overnight.
2. A Facebook page does not equal social media and does not give you a competitive edge. Hello… there are already 850 million people on Facebook. Sorry Charlie, you are late to the party.
3. Acknowledge that becoming a social business is going to take work, real work.
4. Repeat after me… “doing social media is not the same as becoming a social business.”
5. Repeat after me… “I will not fall for the magic potions that promise I can become a guru, expert, thought leader, influencer or social media rockstar overnight!”
6. Understand that your mission is to get in the head of your audience and understand how you can have a relevant conversation with them that inspires them to further engage with you and your brand.
7. Set goals and objectives for your business before you set goals and objectives for social media. Social media is not a band-aid for a broken business.
8. Choose goals to align social media where social media can have an impact. Not all business goals and objectives can be positively impacted by social media.
9. Not all results can be easily measured with social media.
10. Balance learning of tools and technology with the art of social media including conversation, engagement, and participation. Anybody can learn the tools and tech. Focus on the art of engagement as relationships are the lift raft for technology evolution and change.
11. As much as you want to think it is about you, it's not. We don't care that you are the rockstar of your town, your high school, your gym or have the biggest mall hair this side of Texas. First tell me how you can help me and my business and then I'll decide if I can put up with your super size ego.
12. If you don't know what SMO is, you better find out. Optimizing your social media is key to success and results. (By the way SMO = social media optimization).
13. Focus on inspiring your audience to connect with you, help them achieve their objectives before your own. Doing such will help you meet your objectives if you have properly planned and done your research on the needs of your audience and how they align to your services and products.
14. Stay focused on your business and your audience. Don't get side tracked with competition who may or may not be doing it right. Of course you want to identify your top competitors and understand what they are doing and how they are engaging with your common audience and community. However, do not over focus in this area.
15. Don't be afraid to ask for help. If you don't have the skills and knowledge of social media, hire an agency or consultant to help you get started. Just remember that just because someone is on Facebook or Twitter does not mean they are an expert or have the skills to integrate social media into your business.
16. When hiring an agency or consultant talk to more than one. Do the double click on their social profiles, Facebook pages, LinkedIn communities and activities. If there is not evidence they are successful in building their own brand, community and are able to successfully engage an audience then chances are the work they do for you will be even less spectacular.
17. Let the skeletons fall out of the business closet now. Becoming a social business is going to open up closet doors you thought were locked down forever. Let the yucky stuff fall out and deal with it.
18. Start working on your social media policy now. Do not skip this step, period.
19. Everything you say on Facebook and Twitter does not stay on Facebook and Twitter. Manage your online reputation or it will manage you.
20. Using the website your intern built in 1999 is probably not the best idea. Invest in and prioritize the online assets you need to be successful.
21. Stay focused, set time limits and set goals for each online surfing session. Spend an equal amount or more time on your clients, your objectives and goals over reading blogs and random hours spent on Twitter and Facebook!
22. People don't just buy things, they join things. Focus on how you can build a loyal community and team of evangelists ready to share and shout how great your brand is from the mountain top!
23. Avoid random acts of marketing (RAMs) at all costs. RAMs feel good short term but will eat every lost dollar of return on investment if you let them.
24. Be realistic with expected outcomes.
25. Don't copy the guru, competitor or neighbor around the corner. Focus on your business, your audience, your community, your goals and your objectives.
26. Obtain the buy-in from key stakeholders, partners and required decision makers early on. Ignoring them and hoping they will come along for the social ride should be avoided.
27. Accept that you will need to continuously analyze, measure and refine your strategies, approach and tactics based upon achievement to goals and objectives.
28. If you don't know the word integration, get familiar with it. Integrating social media into your business requires more than adding a logo to Facebook and a Facebook button to your website. Get ready to roll your sleeves up and get to work!
29. Repeat after me just one more time… “doing social media is not the same as becoming a social business.”
30. One thing is for certain with social media and that is things are going to change. So just as you get comfortable get ready to get uncomfortable again.
Don't do social, be social!
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.
Social Business, It's Not About The Next Big Thing
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
YAY Pam, yes repeat after me, “Doing Social Media is not the same as becoming social business”. I so agree with you on all your points. I agree with you there is no templete for Social Media and will never exist either. Just because some “guru” read Mashable on daily bases doesn’t make a person an expert. Becoming a social business means changing the culture of the business in all accepts. The most funny answers i am hearing a lot is, i dont want to be on Social Media coz i dont people talking bad about me… i normally answer they already do, you just dont know jet :)
Love your post! And now is really time that me and you get connected, phone :)
@jureklepic Amen! Yes Jure I think we agree on all points. And yes, we are definitely due to talk IN REAL LIFE!! Let’s make ti happen this week.
@jureklepic Don’t think the problem is with Mashable (or any other sites), its with self-proclaimed gurus who teaches people how to make money with social media running other peoples accounts. I came across an e-course one day teaching people that.
I appreciate your genuine desire to help people! This post is like the difference in seeing Hawaii and doing Hawaii. Many people prefer to sit on a bus and see the sights and hear the facts. While others are eager to get off the bus and trek a half-mile through a rain forrest to see a waterfall and take a dip. It all comes down to how hard people want to work. Great word!
@dwaynemorris what a great analogy! I say we go test it out in Hawaii and I’ll be the beta client. We can tweet about it and share the results ;)
You also hit a valid question businesses must ask themselves is are they ready to do what it takes to be a social business. YES, it takes work and no, many organizations are not currently ready to take on such commitment.
Thanks for taking time to comment. Appreciate your insight.
@PamMktgNut I must confess, the analogy was inspired by my trip there over the Christmas break. However, will gladly return for R & D :o) Good to connect!
@J_Smooth_smooth Thanks! Glad you liked it!
@PamMktgNut I did. I’m always impressed by ur tweets…always informative and thought provoking. #greatwomanstatus
@jasperdevalk Thanks Jasper! Happy Monday! :)
@PamMktgNut you too Pam :)
This part of #10 still is the most understood and underutilized part of Social Media. “Focus on the art of engagement as relationships are the lift raft for technology evolution and change.” Unfortunately, many that do understand, don’t practice. People/Businesses need to change their ways if they expect to enjoy any success with SoMe.
@GeeklessTech Amen! Without the art of engagement it is truly all for nothing. It’s crazy how many people focus only on tools and number of followers. Focus on inspiring and connecting with audience as well as engaging with them in a way that brings them closer to your brand and by default the numbers will come. The tools and tech can be learned easily and will continue to change.
Thanks for your comment! Have a great week.
This is a great post Pam. I try to embrace this strategy in my social media efforts. Thanks so much. I’ve shared it where I can.
@keepupweb Glad you liked it. Thanks for taking the time to read, comment and share with your network. Truly appreciated. Hope you have a good week!
Actually, I think there is a step before “rolling up your sleeves” and making a plan. I think the number one obstacle to social media success is a company’s cultural readiness. In most companies, that has to be addressed and assessed before any plans are created. Some companies are not going to make this work no matter how urgent the intentions or complete the plans. A social media plan will not change a company culture if it is an obstacle. Right?
@markwschaefer Mark, I agree with you 100%. I know this post is very much over simplified. The first thing we assess before working with any client is their mindset. You’re right in that biz leaders must look inside the walls of the company and assess things like stakeholder buy-in, training needs, change management, organization structures etc. We have had several clients that have been far from ready to become social. They call us asking us to implement Facebook or Twitter. One particularly large brand we wound up waiting a year before we ever got them on Facebook. We had to help them change mindset, train staff, overhaul processes etc.
Bottom line I think becoming a social business is mis-understood by too many. You hit the nail on the head in that the first requirement is to understand what it means and second to have the right mindset to achieve such.
Thanks for your comment Mark. You always inspire me. I better from knowing you! :)
The Only Way to Become a Social Business in 2012 http://t.co/Pgw3EMux via @PamMktgNut @socialmouths
LOVE this post Pam! Simple and straight forward, I do have mine too, although its not as good as yours above –> Repeat after me, I will stop going to seminars, buy every social media book, read every social media blog post (except a few) and start taking action today!
@AskAaronLee – Love this pice about becoming a social business! Thanks! via @PamMktgNut
@hensel is that through the link below
@charles_donjc The link is to a blogpost, there you can read about it.
@iggypintado Thanks Iggy!!
@pammktgnut Hope you are doing wonderful Pam. How was your weekend?
@JasonPromotesU Doing great Jason. How are you? Haven’t seen you around these parts in awhile. What ya’ been up to?
@pammktgnut Great my friend. Just been busy with my team. Things are great here. No complaints :-) glad you’re well.
Pam, I really love your last point. THIS is why all of the seminars, books or coaches in the world won’t work for you. If you are not engaged, if you don’t love social media and social business at least a little bit, you will be following a checklist that was outdated by the time you found it, even if it did completely cover every nuance of the topic when it was published (no, none of them do).
Social media is constantly evolving, and the ONLY way to keep up is to embrace it and identify your own opportunities. If you don’t, the only business you will be driving will be your agency’s, consultant’s or seminar publisher’s business, not your own.
@tedcoine @PamMktgNut Thanks for retweeting this blog post.
@PegFitzpatrick hey Pegster!! How are ya’?? Thanks for the RT luvs!!
@PamMktgNut PAM!! I am fabulous – hope you are too! 2012 has been a whirlwind so far. How are you?
@PegFitzpatrick Awesome, love to hear it!! Did you see the #GetRealChat tonight is with @Walgreens ?? You should join us sistah! We miss U!
@PamMktgNut morning Pam so excited about #getrealchat tonight @walgreens as guest..can’t wait
It must’ve been fate that I came across this post! I was just thinking this morning, after getting yet another invite to a ‘social media magic potion’ webinar, that they all basically regurgitate the same information and there’s rarely anything new. Engagement really is the key! Great tips Pam!
@mqtodd Hey thanks Michael! How are ya’ buddy?
@jkcallas Thanks Jure! How are ya’? We were just looking at your profile as part of SMO training w/my team! :)
@PamMktgNut doing well and you Pam ?
@CleverKibitzer Do you want to do more than social media?
@BusinessPurpose possibly… I love to write, speak, teach… what do you have in mind?
@CleverKibitzer will call you
@_bradmiller @CleverKibitzer @PamMktgNut Really awesome points – plus, what works for one biz will not work the same way for another.
@JessicaNorthey Hey girlie!!! Thx for the RT luvs! Let’s talk this week. Starting to put some dates together 4 the Tweetup & FL roadshow!
@PamMktgNut look forward to talking to you :) xo and you are always welcome on my stream!!! xo
The Only Way to Become a Social Business in 2012 http://t.co/BLKgMGQm via @PamMktgNut @JessicaNorthey
@athenspc Thank you for the RT/Ms Jim! Enjoy your evening :-)
@JeffEdwards_ Thank you again Jeff! Have a great evening :-)
@marccusters Like wise Marc! :-)
@Tricendent Kind of awesome and to the point, isn’t it?
@scrappy_face Roger that!
@LLLearning You’re very welcome. @PamMktgNut is definitely one to follow and read. Intelligent, honest, fun and she knows her stuff!
@socialamateur thanks so much for the kind words!
The more a person says that there’s no secret sauce, it’s all about hard work, hustle, and caring, the more I listen. The advice should be about working hard and working smart, not trying to AVOID work, altogether.
What? I have a blog; where are all the people, where’s my money?
Being ‘social’ and relationships I can do and fortunately I’m well established in my day job that I didn’t jump on this hamster wheel expecting to monetize my efforts. For now it is running on a parallel track which makes it easy for me to see what works and what does not in here.
Your 30 tips certainly make sense and wise words indeed; thanks for sharing.
Love the article! You forgot to add, start listening and reacting and stop talking at your consumers. It’s engagement not advertising.
@PamMktgNut Good one Pam! Tell it straight up! Too many people wrapped in the exterior of things.
@sriberkywriter amen! Glad u liked it!!
Great article. This has given me good insight and tips on how to use Facebook social commerce. And, yes, social changes frequently. It is a challenge to keep up with it :)
Oooo, this is the fun kind of info my fans love to read! Will share for sure. btw, you won’t have to worry about paying your son adult prevailing rates, since he will know the value of mom’s time too :). Thanks for the article.
Thank you for this post. Even in the video production industry, I’ve been approached so many times by people that think that simply having likes, or being part of a bunch of different groups equals success. A bloated social media agenda doesn’t help anyone, and seems like it would instead mask your company by putting them right next to all the other bloated nothing in the social media industry. It takes effort, time, and effort, and this articles was spot on.