Dear social media and blogging community,
This is an open letter to the social media and blogging ecosystem. The purpose of this blog post is to kindly ask you to please quit telling me that words such as strategy, integration, culture, authenticity, content, rock star, transparency, framework, architecture, ROI, influence, engagement, earned media, thought leader, KPI, infographic, buckets are bad or even voodoo.
Please quit writing, complaining, crafting blog titles to get clicks that only focus on what buzzword of the week is in or out. Please quit telling me what I should or should not say, tweet, pin, post, photograph or write about.
You're Focusing on the Wrong Things!
There are only so many words that can describe what these things are. What other word should we use in replacement of strategy? Culture? Integration? How on earth can a business integrate social media into the DNA of their business without using some of these words?
The even bigger question is why do you care if the words are used or not? Why can't we focus on the actions of these words, the benefits to the business, people and broader ecosystem as a whole?
Why isn't the focus on the needs of our clients, audience, community? What happened to helping them understand and connect with their audience, or simply solving real business problems?
We must focus on helping our readers, clients, audience, and community. We must get in the trenches and teach them what these things mean. Teach them how to mitigate risk, eliminate random acts of marketing, achieve business goals.
We need to help them figure these things out so they can have a life. Maybe then they can attempt to figure out how to get off of Twitter on the weekends or turn off those annoying auto tweets that repeat every day multiple times a day.
Some of you are teaching business leaders to focus on the wrong things. We know because these business leaders call us for help. Many are more worried about using the right or wrong word vs getting in the head of their audience, determining their own business goals and delivering value to their audiences using the social networks.
Stop The War of Words, Please
I saw a blog post today that stated we should not use the word “content.” Seriously? Content marketing is not a new shiny object invented via Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook or Twitter. Smart marketers have been developing, writing, and serving up good content for decades.
I am blatantly going to tell you I am 100% over being told what I can say and not say, what word is in, out, good or bad.
As an example, I love using the word “rock star” to tell somebody they kicked butt at doing something or maybe just because they simply rock.
Yet, I've had people tell me publicly via the social networks that I shouldn't use the word “rock star.”Why? Is there a certified social business bible that tells me I can't? Will my client be offended? Usually when I tell my clients or colleagues that they are a rock star they usually scream a big “woot” and give me a high five.
Focus on Value and Relationships
At the end of the day we must focus on value to our clients, partners, audience, community and broader ecosystem as a whole. Is a blog post or tweet confusing people about what they should say or not say adding value?
Is it building relationships or it is giving you a title that will get clicks and more opt-ins? What's in it for the person or brand on the other end?
I hope that some of you will read this post and think about my words. I am going to use the words that I see fit to help my audience. I will use words I know they understand or I believe they need to learn.
If you don't like them or they bother you because they are a “buzzword” you've decided is voodoo, then I am sorry. Guess you'll have to deal with it. As for the rest of us who aren't afraid of what the word monster bosses tell us to do, we will be rockin' out authentically, transparently, and getting good ROI on having fun and helping our clients see real business results! ;)
Heartbeat of Social Media Series
This blog post is part of a series titled “The Heartbeat of Social Media.” It includes 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, podcasts 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!
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