I worry about the expectations that some people have for social media success versus the actual results. In some cases, we the consultants and champions of social media are just as bad and as guilty as the snake oil salesmen in pumping up and promising instant, magical results from social media. It’s not fair but for some of us, we believe and we know.
Sadly though, the reality is that even in the five plus years I have been consulting and the three plus years that I have been writing this blog, disaster still lurks in parallel with success for all that utter the words, “I do social media”…
And that’s OK…
There are a lot of intangibles that can equally push the needle in either direction, but the fact is, that the number (of intangibles) that can affect success and failure, has exponentially grown in the past 2 years. Meaning it is easier to succeed in social media now than it was in 2008. Yes but…
- It’s also easy to think you know what results you want from social media
- It’s easy to set up a Twitter and Facebook account and think that you’re doing social media
- It’s easy to compare your brand to another unrealistically
- It’s easy to measure the wrong thing
- It’s easier to be sucked in to the mystique and the aura of numbers
- It’s easier to be duped by numbers
- It’s easier to trust the wrong person
- It’s easier to fail and
- It’s easier to think that social media just doesn’t work because you fail
After reading that bullet list, I’d be scared to do anything too! Take solace though in this- Some of the best companies fail and will fail at social media, and even more-so, some of the biggest and best brands as well will do nothing with social media out of that fear of failing or notion that social media doesn’t work.
So which company would you like to be?
Temper your expectations, temper your fear, do your homework, align yourself and your company with the right people and the right vendors and push on with your social media initiatives. It’s worth it. Does this mean that you won’t fail? No, but from every failure, you learn-Here’s a quick analogy: Baseball players fail 7 out of 10 times when batting and get paid millions to do it…and they practice hitting every day. Every day.
Remember being scared about learning to ride your bike without any training wheels? What did you do? What will you do now?