What does that mean exactly, to play it safe? Is that creating a Facebook page just to satisfy the critics and the bashers? Is it creating a Twitter profile “in case” someone maybe be talking about you so that you can claim that you and your company are proactively listening to the conversation? Or is it a blog that has 3-4 posts over the span of 6 months? Maybe, possibly, and perhaps?
One of the easiest ways to opt out of the social media revolution is to do just enough to satisfy the hacks that may be looking at your social efforts who then may be writing, speaking or commenting about your stuff and trying to poke holes at it. To be honest, if I was a company who didn’t have money, resources, or time (weak excuse) to dip a toe into the waters of social, I might do the same thing. Of course doing the barest of minimums also sets you up for the hacks who love to point out the companies who…do the barest of minimums. Or…doing the barest of minimums sets you up for nothing.
So what’s happening here? Call it paralysis by analysis. Fear of talking, orRO-myopia. But the fact of the matter is that some organizations are so fixated on social but so unsure of what to do, or so obsessed with a wait and see mode, that they end up doing nothing or prefer to just sit back and do very little. Ironically they then claim that they are social, or that they’re doing nothing, because they’re waiting for things to sort themselves out.
Does either strategy ( I use the term lightly) work? Not really. Does it buy you time compared to your comptetitors? Maybe. You see, the easiset way that you could measure your efforts in social would be to first measure how you’re doing compared to the competition. When I coach basketball and baseball- I want to know who is the best and why. Amazing players aside, preparation can go a long way. Once my teams are suitably prepared, we measure where we are by competing. Then I know exactly where to focus my practices and future game plans.
You’re in business to make money and you’re in business to compete against others that do what you do and sell what you sell. Do you scout them? How do you compare to them? What are you doing to improve what you do, as it compares to what they do? What makes you better than them? What are they doing with social media that you are not?
Playing it safe in sports means playing for ties or not caring whether you win or lose. If that was what mattered, then we wouldn’t have to keep score or root for any teams. In business we keep score by making money and surviving. Social used the right way, could determine both.