Social Media – All Heat no Light

You will, no doubt, have read innumerable posts talking about the need to take on board an air of social discourse when it comes to social media; but even to posit this seems paradoxical: Why on earth would you throw yourself at the mercy of Twitter et al if you weren’t prepared to expose yourself to a scintilla of discussion?

Many do though…

BLAH 

BLAH

Bloody BLAH

And it usually revolves around telling you why you need something or why something is so good.

But who do ‘they’ think they are kidding?

Are you really likely, on first blush, to go:

“Holy smoke, I have to have one!”

I have said ad nauseum that you have to earn attention; but the pressure to sell has elided a patient building of your Tribe and instead the default SPAM button is pressed Fast-Fast-Forward.

You only have to gaze for a moment across Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to recognise the un-hidden agenda!

For me, social media is something you are, not something you do.

And that is why many businesses will fail in their efforts! They are only doing social because they feel they have to rather than because it is part of who they are.

When I first found social media (or did it find me?), I was won over in a instant by the 5 Stratospheric Rules of Success espoused in Messrs Burg and Mann’s wonderful book The Go-Giver:

1. The Law of Value

Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.

2. The Law of Compensation

Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.

3. The Law of Influence

Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.

4. The Law of Authenticity

The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.

5. The Law of Receptivity

The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.

These rules are and have been the keystone of my social media efforts. If I thought that all I was doing was building numbers to give me greater chance of selling my yawn-worthy, bland promotional material then I would feel a deep betrayal of who I am.

Don’t get me wrong, we are all in business to make a profit but social media for most businesses is only a small part of the overall mix. First and foremost you have to sort out your product or service. If it’s Ho Hum then no amount of social media spin will change the opinion of those that you most covet.

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you will know I am a unabashed apostle of Excellence (yes with a capital ‘E’) for the simple fact that those business we are attracted to and frequent time and time again is not by dint of a stream of Tweets etc but because they serve our needs better than anyone else.

Word of mouth is word of mouth. Of course, social media may increase the reach and speed of message but more likely than not you will reach out to your close connections for a personal recommendation, and not default to social media.

In summary, before you disappear completely down the social media rabbit hole, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do we deliver the best service in the World?
  • If not, what are we doing to close the gap?
  • Do we have the best people development programme in our industry?
  • Does our culture fit with social media?
  • Are we prepared to cede control of our marketing to everyone in the company or firm?
  • Do we have the budget, resources and passion for social media?
  • Are we willing to give more of [name] for free?
  • If not, how can we add value in a way that adds gobs and gobs of eye sparkle to the company?
  • If the bosses don’t get it then how will you engage with your fans?
  • Are you prepared to show up every day and write or produce the best content possible?
  • Are you passionate about the enterprise or is it just a job?

Don’t forget that social media is there to help your business and not become a distraction.

Working with me:

I am available for speaking, consulting and one on one coaching. Please feel free to email me at juliansummerhayes@gmail.com or contact me on 075888 15384.

You can follow me on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn,  Tumblr or Flavors.me

 

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