Is Everything a Nail

hammer It’s important that those of us who are passionate about social media tools understand that not everything requires their use. Further, we must learn to move from expressing things in our terms when explaining these tools and their use to others. Otherwise, we end up seeming like someone with a hammer seeing everything as a nail. I find that terms cause problems when people within certain companies haven’t yet made the jump from one perspective to another. If you’re used to banner ads and hit counting, how will you understand the value of a Twitter discussion?

How are you describing what you’re learning about to others? What are some of the ways you’ve talked about social media that worked for people? Care to talk about times when you’ve talked your way into a corner? Let’s talk about HOW we bring these tools together with the people who most need them within an organization. How are you helping with that?

Photo credit, Kyle May

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  • http://blog.angelaconnor.com AngelaConnor

    At this point, Chris…I’ve decided to promote various aspects and specific features offered in my community to groups who may benefit from them most. Currently I’m focusing on GOLO Groups and the tools it offers organizations. I’m learning that with some and depending on the demographic you’re trying to reach you literally have to SHOW them how social media and social media tools can help them. Believe it or not, there are a whole bunch of folks who are simply clueless and quite honestly they could just be too proud to admit it. So I say, demonstrate whenever you can. That definitely depends on the amount of time you have to do this, but that’s where I’m going for the next three months at least. Also, I’m with you on not engaging in every social media site. I now choose wisely. I try everything so that I can be in the know, but I deem it relevant or irrelevant to my life and then move on.

  • http://onlinecommunitystrategist.wordpress.com Angela Connor

    At this point, Chris…I’ve decided to promote various aspects and specific features offered in my community to groups who may benefit from them most. Currently I’m focusing on GOLO Groups and the tools it offers organizations. I’m learning that with some and depending on the demographic you’re trying to reach you literally have to SHOW them how social media and social media tools can help them. Believe it or not, there are a whole bunch of folks who are simply clueless and quite honestly they could just be too proud to admit it. So I say, demonstrate whenever you can. That definitely depends on the amount of time you have to do this, but that’s where I’m going for the next three months at least. Also, I’m with you on not engaging in every social media site. I now choose wisely. I try everything so that I can be in the know, but I deem it relevant or irrelevant to my life and then move on.

  • http://shonnoll.blogspot.com/ Sonciary Honnoll

    I completely agree. Of course, not everything requires social media tools – but most would benefit from their use.

    When I talk to, say, my parents or small businesses about social media I refrain from using any buzz words. Also, real world analogies always help.

    Because…

    Many businesses don’t want to tweet, but they do want to find fresh and useful ways to connect with existing and potential customers online. Again, many businesses don’t want to blog, but they do want to get their message out quickly and create ways for it to be easily passed on.

  • http://shonnoll.blogspot.com/ Sonciary Honnoll

    I completely agree. Of course, not everything requires social media tools – but most would benefit from their use.

    When I talk to, say, my parents or small businesses about social media I refrain from using any buzz words. Also, real world analogies always help.

    Because…

    Many businesses don’t want to tweet, but they do want to find fresh and useful ways to connect with existing and potential customers online. Again, many businesses don’t want to blog, but they do want to get their message out quickly and create ways for it to be easily passed on.

  • http://shonnoll.blogspot.com/ Sonciary Honnoll

    I completely agree. Of course, not everything requires social media tools – but most would benefit from their use.

    When I talk to, say, my parents or small businesses about social media I refrain from using any buzz words. Also, real world analogies always help.

    Because…

    Many businesses don’t want to tweet, but they do want to find fresh and useful ways to connect with existing and potential customers online. Again, many businesses don’t want to blog, but they do want to get their message out quickly and create ways for it to be easily passed on.

  • http://www.stupersocial.com Amanda

    Here’s a no-fail way to talk yourself into a corner: trying to get someone to join Twitter or explain why it’s so great.

    Never fails.

    I think it’s hard to talk about social media to people who don’t understand it. People would prefer to pass it off as useless only because they don’t have any clue how to use it. G
    etting a small organization to try and use social media or atleast optimize for it, in my experience, is hard enough, I can’t imagine trying to convince a larger corporation to invest in social media.

    I think the best way I’ve been able to explain to people the value of social media is when I get some kind of results from it. For example, I was asked to write for a big blog recently, wouldn’t have happened without using twitter. Got hundreds of new readers on my company blog by interacting with a certain target audience social network. Of course, the non-believers will always attribute it to something else. Always.

  • http://www.stupersocial.com Amanda

    Here’s a no-fail way to talk yourself into a corner: trying to get someone to join Twitter or explain why it’s so great.

    Never fails.

    I think it’s hard to talk about social media to people who don’t understand it. People would prefer to pass it off as useless only because they don’t have any clue how to use it. G
    etting a small organization to try and use social media or atleast optimize for it, in my experience, is hard enough, I can’t imagine trying to convince a larger corporation to invest in social media.

    I think the best way I’ve been able to explain to people the value of social media is when I get some kind of results from it. For example, I was asked to write for a big blog recently, wouldn’t have happened without using twitter. Got hundreds of new readers on my company blog by interacting with a certain target audience social network. Of course, the non-believers will always attribute it to something else. Always.

  • http://www.stupersocial.com Amanda

    Here’s a no-fail way to talk yourself into a corner: trying to get someone to join Twitter or explain why it’s so great.

    Never fails.

    I think it’s hard to talk about social media to people who don’t understand it. People would prefer to pass it off as useless only because they don’t have any clue how to use it. G
    etting a small organization to try and use social media or atleast optimize for it, in my experience, is hard enough, I can’t imagine trying to convince a larger corporation to invest in social media.

    I think the best way I’ve been able to explain to people the value of social media is when I get some kind of results from it. For example, I was asked to write for a big blog recently, wouldn’t have happened without using twitter. Got hundreds of new readers on my company blog by interacting with a certain target audience social network. Of course, the non-believers will always attribute it to something else. Always.

  • http://sharemarketing.wordpress.com Matt

    Not everything requires a billboard. Not everything requires a radio spot. Social media (while admittedly different and scary, and one-to-one, etc) is merely another tool a marketer can use to help sell something.

    Social media is amazing. But it works better when there’s a well-established brand. And while people (like Chris) can create pretty solid brands via social media, products and services can’t create brands here.

    That said, they can create good conversations. And good interactions. And those could lead to a positive impression of the brand. But, this is a tool. And when we figure out the metrics of the tool, it will be an even stronger tool.

  • http://sharemarketing.wordpress.com Matt

    Not everything requires a billboard. Not everything requires a radio spot. Social media (while admittedly different and scary, and one-to-one, etc) is merely another tool a marketer can use to help sell something.

    Social media is amazing. But it works better when there’s a well-established brand. And while people (like Chris) can create pretty solid brands via social media, products and services can’t create brands here.

    That said, they can create good conversations. And good interactions. And those could lead to a positive impression of the brand. But, this is a tool. And when we figure out the metrics of the tool, it will be an even stronger tool.

  • http://sharemarketing.wordpress.com Matt

    Not everything requires a billboard. Not everything requires a radio spot. Social media (while admittedly different and scary, and one-to-one, etc) is merely another tool a marketer can use to help sell something.

    Social media is amazing. But it works better when there’s a well-established brand. And while people (like Chris) can create pretty solid brands via social media, products and services can’t create brands here.

    That said, they can create good conversations. And good interactions. And those could lead to a positive impression of the brand. But, this is a tool. And when we figure out the metrics of the tool, it will be an even stronger tool.

  • http://www.davekawalec.com Dave Kawalec

    I find that people who aren’t involved in social media don’t really get the fact that the particular tool is really unimportant. The empowering concept of dynamic conversations, where very little value is lost to “friction” is what’s important.

    If you’re stuck in a MS Office mentality, software is used to accomplished certain pre-defined tasks. Think about it. We describe people who know how to rock out on these tools as “Power Users”, not “Typical Users”.

    So, if I do Word for my reports, and Excel for my lists and Outlook for e-mail and meetings, and PowerPoint to chop up my Word docs into bullet point lists that I read to the audience (we’ve all sat through these presentations), what the heck am I going to make of Twitter?

    I stare at the screen and wonder, “What do you do with this?” That first Tweet would be like shouting into the abyss.

    So, if the answer to “What do you do with Twitter?” is “You talk to people,” you first have to be convinced of an answer to, “Why do I want to talk to people?” to understand why you want to learn about Twitter.

  • http://www.davekawalec.com Dave Kawalec

    I find that people who aren’t involved in social media don’t really get the fact that the particular tool is really unimportant. The empowering concept of dynamic conversations, where very little value is lost to “friction” is what’s important.

    If you’re stuck in a MS Office mentality, software is used to accomplished certain pre-defined tasks. Think about it. We describe people who know how to rock out on these tools as “Power Users”, not “Typical Users”.

    So, if I do Word for my reports, and Excel for my lists and Outlook for e-mail and meetings, and PowerPoint to chop up my Word docs into bullet point lists that I read to the audience (we’ve all sat through these presentations), what the heck am I going to make of Twitter?

    I stare at the screen and wonder, “What do you do with this?” That first Tweet would be like shouting into the abyss.

    So, if the answer to “What do you do with Twitter?” is “You talk to people,” you first have to be convinced of an answer to, “Why do I want to talk to people?” to understand why you want to learn about Twitter.

  • http://www.davekawalec.com Dave Kawalec

    I find that people who aren’t involved in social media don’t really get the fact that the particular tool is really unimportant. The empowering concept of dynamic conversations, where very little value is lost to “friction” is what’s important.

    If you’re stuck in a MS Office mentality, software is used to accomplished certain pre-defined tasks. Think about it. We describe people who know how to rock out on these tools as “Power Users”, not “Typical Users”.

    So, if I do Word for my reports, and Excel for my lists and Outlook for e-mail and meetings, and PowerPoint to chop up my Word docs into bullet point lists that I read to the audience (we’ve all sat through these presentations), what the heck am I going to make of Twitter?

    I stare at the screen and wonder, “What do you do with this?” That first Tweet would be like shouting into the abyss.

    So, if the answer to “What do you do with Twitter?” is “You talk to people,” you first have to be convinced of an answer to, “Why do I want to talk to people?” to understand why you want to learn about Twitter.

  • http://thebrandbox.blogspot.com Amber Naslund

    I agree with Dave here. Instead of explaining the tools first, I work backwards. Who are you talking to? What do you want them to know? Do you value being able to have a conversation with them? As many of us, including you, Chris, have said – it’s not about the tools, it’s the people that use them.

    Buzzwords and 5-dollar words like “social network”, “microblogging” (heck, even “blog”), “emerging media” just all serve to scare the pants off of people who have been using traditional push mechanisms all their careers. For me, the key has been talking with companies – big and small – about how the *dialogue* is what’s valuable. Only then can we find out what social tools, if any, are appropriate for them. Then you treat it like you do any new tool – teach, try, screw up, try some more.

  • http://thebrandbox.blogspot.com Amber Naslund

    I agree with Dave here. Instead of explaining the tools first, I work backwards. Who are you talking to? What do you want them to know? Do you value being able to have a conversation with them? As many of us, including you, Chris, have said – it’s not about the tools, it’s the people that use them.

    Buzzwords and 5-dollar words like “social network”, “microblogging” (heck, even “blog”), “emerging media” just all serve to scare the pants off of people who have been using traditional push mechanisms all their careers. For me, the key has been talking with companies – big and small – about how the *dialogue* is what’s valuable. Only then can we find out what social tools, if any, are appropriate for them. Then you treat it like you do any new tool – teach, try, screw up, try some more.

  • http://thebrandbox.blogspot.com Amber Naslund

    I agree with Dave here. Instead of explaining the tools first, I work backwards. Who are you talking to? What do you want them to know? Do you value being able to have a conversation with them? As many of us, including you, Chris, have said – it’s not about the tools, it’s the people that use them.

    Buzzwords and 5-dollar words like “social network”, “microblogging” (heck, even “blog”), “emerging media” just all serve to scare the pants off of people who have been using traditional push mechanisms all their careers. For me, the key has been talking with companies – big and small – about how the *dialogue* is what’s valuable. Only then can we find out what social tools, if any, are appropriate for them. Then you treat it like you do any new tool – teach, try, screw up, try some more.

  • http://www.themurr.com/ David Murray

    Speaking from experience I have fell victim of using and sharing too many nails.

    This industry I’m in is very traditional and doesn’t dive in 100% when it comes to sudden and radical change. So social media is a very scary to them

    Social media is very scary to the industry I’m in. Having been built on traditional marketing methods, it doesn’t like sudden or radical change. I don’t blame them.

    I began my evangelist campaign on how social media can help and do all these amazing things! WRONG MOVE!! I set myself up to fail right from the start.

    Chewing people’s ear off how this tool can do that and why blogging would be this… I definitely talked myself into a corner.

    Now I’ve tempered my flair and have been busy playing minor damage control.

    The most important thing I’ve learned is to remember the niche or industry you are catering social media too. Recognize their goals and spin social media in a language they understand. Also don’t forget to mention the work free advertising – that seems to at least open the door to discussion!

  • http://www.themurr.com/ David Murray

    Speaking from experience I have fell victim of using and sharing too many nails.

    This industry I’m in is very traditional and doesn’t dive in 100% when it comes to sudden and radical change. So social media is a very scary to them

    Social media is very scary to the industry I’m in. Having been built on traditional marketing methods, it doesn’t like sudden or radical change. I don’t blame them.

    I began my evangelist campaign on how social media can help and do all these amazing things! WRONG MOVE!! I set myself up to fail right from the start.

    Chewing people’s ear off how this tool can do that and why blogging would be this… I definitely talked myself into a corner.

    Now I’ve tempered my flair and have been busy playing minor damage control.

    The most important thing I’ve learned is to remember the niche or industry you are catering social media too. Recognize their goals and spin social media in a language they understand. Also don’t forget to mention the work free advertising – that seems to at least open the door to discussion!

  • http://www.tuitionu.com/trueeducation/ DaveMurr

    Speaking from experience I have fell victim of using and sharing too many nails.

    This industry I’m in is very traditional and doesn’t dive in 100% when it comes to sudden and radical change. So social media is a very scary to them

    Social media is very scary to the industry I’m in. Having been built on traditional marketing methods, it doesn’t like sudden or radical change. I don’t blame them.

    I began my evangelist campaign on how social media can help and do all these amazing things! WRONG MOVE!! I set myself up to fail right from the start.

    Chewing people’s ear off how this tool can do that and why blogging would be this… I definitely talked myself into a corner.

    Now I’ve tempered my flair and have been busy playing minor damage control.

    The most important thing I’ve learned is to remember the niche or industry you are catering social media too. Recognize their goals and spin social media in a language they understand. Also don’t forget to mention the work free advertising – that seems to at least open the door to discussion!

  • http://sharemarketing.wordpress.com Matt

    Dave Kawalec,

    I don’t disagree that social media is a different tool. However, the post by Chris suggested that the tool isn’t right for every brand. We social media people (the ones who know, or think we know how to use Twitter) risk losing credibility if the answer is yes to every question that asks is Social Media right?

    We’re marketers. And marketing tools aren’t right all the time. I say no at my agency, then explain why. It gives the marketing tool more credibility.

  • http://sharemarketing.wordpress.com Matt

    Dave Kawalec,

    I don’t disagree that social media is a different tool. However, the post by Chris suggested that the tool isn’t right for every brand. We social media people (the ones who know, or think we know how to use Twitter) risk losing credibility if the answer is yes to every question that asks is Social Media right?

    We’re marketers. And marketing tools aren’t right all the time. I say no at my agency, then explain why. It gives the marketing tool more credibility.

  • http://sharemarketing.wordpress.com Matt

    Dave Kawalec,

    I don’t disagree that social media is a different tool. However, the post by Chris suggested that the tool isn’t right for every brand. We social media people (the ones who know, or think we know how to use Twitter) risk losing credibility if the answer is yes to every question that asks is Social Media right?

    We’re marketers. And marketing tools aren’t right all the time. I say no at my agency, then explain why. It gives the marketing tool more credibility.

  • http://www.sagecircle.wordpress.com Carter Lusher

    Well made of the classic mistake of too much emphasis on the buzzwords when we named a new service.

    We got mainly blank stares when we discussed The SageCircle Wiki for Analyst Relations (AR). The conversation usually got bogged down explaining wikis and so on. When we changed the name to the Online SageContent(tm) Library the first reaction is usually, “cool, can I see a demo?”

    Lesson for us was that while we are into every social media tool (and into drinking the kool-aid) relatively few of our prospects are. They don’t care about the technology we are using, but how we can make their jobs easier and more productive by having lots of AR best practices, templates, checklists and so on available 24×4. “Wiki? I don’t care about a wiki, but I want those analyst consulting day checklists at my fingertips.”

  • http://www.sagecircle.wordpress.com Carter Lusher

    Well made of the classic mistake of too much emphasis on the buzzwords when we named a new service.

    We got mainly blank stares when we discussed The SageCircle Wiki for Analyst Relations (AR). The conversation usually got bogged down explaining wikis and so on. When we changed the name to the Online SageContent(tm) Library the first reaction is usually, “cool, can I see a demo?”

    Lesson for us was that while we are into every social media tool (and into drinking the kool-aid) relatively few of our prospects are. They don’t care about the technology we are using, but how we can make their jobs easier and more productive by having lots of AR best practices, templates, checklists and so on available 24×4. “Wiki? I don’t care about a wiki, but I want those analyst consulting day checklists at my fingertips.”

  • http://www.sagecircle.wordpress.com Carter Lusher

    Well made of the classic mistake of too much emphasis on the buzzwords when we named a new service.

    We got mainly blank stares when we discussed The SageCircle Wiki for Analyst Relations (AR). The conversation usually got bogged down explaining wikis and so on. When we changed the name to the Online SageContent(tm) Library the first reaction is usually, “cool, can I see a demo?”

    Lesson for us was that while we are into every social media tool (and into drinking the kool-aid) relatively few of our prospects are. They don’t care about the technology we are using, but how we can make their jobs easier and more productive by having lots of AR best practices, templates, checklists and so on available 24×4. “Wiki? I don’t care about a wiki, but I want those analyst consulting day checklists at my fingertips.”

  • http://www.savetubevideo.com youtube downloader

    I agree with Dave here. Instead of explaining the tools first, I work backwards. Who are you talking to? What do you want them to know? Do you value being able to have a conversation with them? As many of us, including you, Chris, have said – it’s not about the tools, it’s the people that use them.