I love social media. I spend hours each day (maybe too many perhaps?) checking Facebook on my iPhone or Mac, tweeting (@psubuzz) and following the various “thought leaders” on Twitter, uploading pictures of my wife or puppy to Flickr and Facebook, streaming music from Last.fm, and reading the latest web news from Mashable or Techcrunch. So, it is not surprising that I am asked by my coworkers here (almost daily) why I haven’t blogged yet. And the answer to that question can be broken down into two simple points, the later being the most important:
- As much as I know about social media, there is so much more that I don’t know and have yet to learn.
- Social media requires consistency.
My officemate Tony (@tonyvia on Twitter) and I had this discussion last week as we kicked around the growing social media needs of our clients. Too often, social media is thrown about recklessly as a silver bullet, a means to generate big business, or a box that can be checked as companies develop their marketing plan. But as people have found out, social media is not a means to generate substantial revenue (yet), social media is not a quick and dirty way to market your company, and social media is certainly NOT a silver bullet. Social media is instead a way of thinking, a way of living, and a way of doing business. In 2009, social media can no longer be ignored when developing your business plan. Instead, social media should be a substantial component of your business strategy, one that requires an investment of time. It’s a way to get your message out, a means to connect with an audience, and largely, a way to talk with your peers, your customers, and sometimes, people that have never crossed your mind.
That said, let me return to why it’s taken me a few months to post… social media, like brand management requires consistency. And I have asked myself over and over, as any company should do before sticking their toe in the social media water, “can I provide enough consistent value to make the effort worthwhile?” This is my personal brand on the line, and to a certain degree, Grafik’s brand, as it is your brand when you participate with the social media community. It would be considered a failure in social media terms (and my own for that matter) if I were to make one post, and then never post again. Consequently, it would have a negative impact on my personal brand. The same thought process applies when setting up your company profile on social media platforms. Social media is not just setting up a MySpace profile or a Twitter account —The people you are connecting with need to perceive consistent value from what you are providing.
So, it is after some serious thought, that I say “yes.” I, as well as the rest of our interactive team, can indeed provide consistent value to our clients, our colleagues, and hopefully, value to the larger community. We live and breathe this, and I know we can successfully apply what we know to our clients. And we will do our best to share that on this blog. Heck, this is fun for us… and I look forward to the ensuing conversations that will take place with each other moving forward. Because again, social media is not a checkbox… it’s a way of connecting…
Join me in making 2009 a year to connect with our customers and with each other. Comments are welcome or email me (Brad at Grafik dot com).