Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"Experts" don't equate with success.

I recently read an article in Business Week titled Beware Social Media Snake Oil.  The general premise of the article is how there are many people offering their consulting services to help companies get on board the Social Media train and how some of these consultants are only offering buzz words and not results.  Now, I never bought into the quick and easy solution for anything and I have always been cautious when someone comes up to me and offers a solution that sounds too easy.  But I understand people get caught up in these things every day.  Especially when an expert comes along and offers to educate you.  For any decision, you need to know where you want it to go and get educated on the journey yourself.

I need to acknowledge that I understand two fundamentals:
1. Not everyone gets how Social Media and Business intertwine.
2. All results of using Social Media may not be empirically measured at this moment however there is a correlation.

To me it just seems very simple.  Not every company should be using Social Media for their business.  Their demographics may not be there, there is sensitivity of the business's information or the stake holders may not honestly have the time do it correctly.

The Company needs to decide on it's goals and how they are going to measure their results.  From there you work on the Strategy and figure out when and where to target the focus, first, second, third, etc.  The Company needs to be specific and defined. Rules must be put in place.  Consequences established, especially if the whole company is involved. 

And finally, decide ahead of time how the results are going to be measured.  It's not how many followers you have on Twitter or Facebook.  It might be more along the lines of the trust and commitment you are establishing with your customers and clients.  Are they talking about you in a positive light, do they recommend you to others, are they repeat customers?  It could be measured based on brand imprinting or how they find out about you in the first place.  If you know ahead of time how you are going to measure the results, you will have a better idea on what is a success and failure and thus if your goals are being reached.

So yes, I'm one of these consultants in the field trying to help you use Social Media in your business.  But only if it makes sense and only if it fits right.  Square peg in a round hole doesn't cut it for me and it shouldn't for you as well.

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