Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
December 1, 2009 9:52 PM

The Hardest Part Of Social Media

Some people can't handle how much content there is out there. Others are scared to open up because of what people might say about their products and services. Then there are those who simply think all of this Social Media stuff is just a fad.

There are a million excuses as to why companies don't engage in these online channels, and the line starts behind the ROI (Return On Investment). In the end, every argument in the world is not going to change the fact that consumers have never been more connected to information and to one another, and that's not going to change. The platforms may evolve. We may all become more mobile with our digital usage, but the technology is going to keep getting faster and easier to use. Regardless of us not being able to keep pace with the changes from a business perspective, even those who are highly engaged rarely talk about what is, ultimately, the hardest part of Social Media...

The commitment.

Many businesses get attracted by the latest shiny object (from Blogging and Podcasting to iPhone apps and Twitter), but fail to realize the commitment - in time, effort and output - that makes for successful programs and initiatives. To this day, many clients are looking for ways to use Social Media to "add 50,000 people to our database in the next four month" or "lead the conversation about our brand in the next year." There is no pixie dust and there is no magic formula.

Hard work alone is not even enough.

You can work hard, you can post often, you follow everyone who is following you, you can use all of the Social Media monitoring tools out there, you can upload the coolest videos and you can keep on rattling off activities to add to this list, but all will fail unless you (and the team backing you up) are truly committed to creating, engaging and being a part of these very real interactions for a very long time to come.

The truth is there may not be a finish line.

The question should not be: "when do you find the time for all of us this stuff?" because if you truly are committed to being successful, you will always find the time for the things that are important to you (and your success). The commitment is not easy. There are days when you will question why you ever ventured down this road in the first place, and then there will be days when you'll be smiling at the amazing opportunities that have come your way, while your competitors are still asking the same question that opened up this last paragraph.

If you're going to do any of this stuff, please take the time to really focus on what your commitment is going to be, and how dedicated you will be to staying the course for the long haul.

By Mitch Joel


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