Just as Difficult as it Seems

Piper the Busker Juggling Fire on a Skateboard Atop Many Things Responding to as many people as you can on Twitter is a lot of work. Commenting as often as you can on your blog is a lot of work. Reaching out and meeting new people and going to events that broaden your circle of potential connections takes time. Searching and using listening tools and finding conversations about you, your product, your organization, is not a walk in the park.

It’s a lot easier to mass email people a generic, link-laden newsletter. It’s much easier to place ads and hire agencies to measure the results of those ads. If you create another banner campaign, it’s a lot faster and simpler to measure.

Building a new plan for your organization that encompasses using listening tools, media creation like blogs and podcasts, social network interactions on services like Twitter and Facebook, is very difficult. Rewriting policies to include interactions outside of emailsis tricky. Determining which parts of the organization should be responsible for social media isn’t as simple as throwing a few bullets onto someone’s existing job description.

It’s easier to demand more from your agency, or push them to do the work for you. It’s safer not to mess with job descriptions. You’ll have fewer headaches if you ignore social media as part of your business communications strategy.

Please, in communicating with the people in your organization who are considering social media tools as part of their marketing or PR or support efforts, don’t intimate that it’s just as simple as throwing up a Twitter account and then ringing up the extra sales that come in from the interactions.

Be clear that it’s not rocket science, but it does take work.

Take a bow for being this far along. If you want some starting points, here’s a post I wrote entitled, “If I Started Today” that might help.

Questions?

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  • Pingback: Social media’s free problem and why is social media hard, plus more skype news & google’s vanity profiles - episode #016 | Talk Social News

  • http://www.leadsexplorer.com LEADSExplorer

    The more companies and people try to sell using Social Media the less effective it will be.
    Just hoping Social Media isn’t turning into advertising.
    Then we could better start reading the classifieds.

  • http://www.leadsexplorer.com LEADSExplorer

    The more companies and people try to sell using Social Media the less effective it will be.
    Just hoping Social Media isn’t turning into advertising.
    Then we could better start reading the classifieds.

  • http://www.commoncentsmom.com Hollie

    Chris question for you, if you were starting again would you have one central blog like you do here, or more.. example my one for money save tips at common cents mom and a more personal one for raising an Aspie’s child. or combine the two in one location. From one who is really just really getting into blogging, thanks!

    Hollie

  • http://www.commoncentsmom.com Hollie

    Chris question for you, if you were starting again would you have one central blog like you do here, or more.. example my one for money save tips at common cents mom and a more personal one for raising an Aspie’s child. or combine the two in one location. From one who is really just really getting into blogging, thanks!

    Hollie

  • http://www.zencollegelife.com Ibrahim | ZenCollegeLife

    Maybe it’s just me, but I like putting in the work. I enjoy seeing the fruits of my labor, and I treat my site like a child. If you nurture the child you have a good chance of it turning out alright. Leave it to others and you’re at the mercy of those people.

  • http://www.zencollegelife.com Ibrahim | ZenCollegeLife.com

    Maybe it’s just me, but I like putting in the work. I enjoy seeing the fruits of my labor, and I treat my site like a child. If you nurture the child you have a good chance of it turning out alright. Leave it to others and you’re at the mercy of those people.

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  • http://miningdrugs.blogspot.com/ Joerg Kurt Wegner

    I just disagree. I am reading a lot, I am a scientist. Sure, reading is work, but I decide which sources I want to read. From an ‘information overload’ and ‘long tail’ perspective I can not believe that reading less helps.

    I do not care about a headache, but I do know that I have a limited reading capacity.

  • http://miningdrugs.blogspot.com/ Joerg Kurt Wegner

    I just disagree. I am reading a lot, I am a scientist. Sure, reading is work, but I decide which sources I want to read. From an ‘information overload’ and ‘long tail’ perspective I can not believe that reading less helps.

    I do not care about a headache, but I do know that I have a limited reading capacity.

  • http://techgurumarketing.com/blog Joe Lofshult

    Good post Chris. Participating in social media does require a bit of work and can be time consuming, but that is the price that one must pay to play the game. If you don’t want to pay that small price, you’re better off not getting involved. Or get involved, but don’t expect it to automatically pay off with no work.

  • http://techgurumarketing.com/blog Joe Lofshult

    Good post Chris. Participating in social media does require a bit of work and can be time consuming, but that is the price that one must pay to play the game. If you don’t want to pay that small price, you’re better off not getting involved. Or get involved, but don’t expect it to automatically pay off with no work.

  • http://commercialappeal.com Kerry

    LEADSExplorer points out that the more companies use social media to sell, the less effective the medium will be.

    I totally agree, if the companies are using social media just to sell. If companies use social media to actually build a relationship with their customers, to care enough to say happy birthday to people or recommend a good book or suggest a solution, then people will respond well. I think media companies have an especially good opportunity to use social media to really connect with readers and users and point them in the direction of content that suits their interests and needs. If my local bar / hospital / post office can do the same, I’ll follow.

    It does take a ton of time, though, and the only way it’ll work is to have someone with a company take ownership of the platforms and act as both an advocate for the audience as well as the company.

  • http://commercialappeal.com Kerry

    LEADSExplorer points out that the more companies use social media to sell, the less effective the medium will be.

    I totally agree, if the companies are using social media just to sell. If companies use social media to actually build a relationship with their customers, to care enough to say happy birthday to people or recommend a good book or suggest a solution, then people will respond well. I think media companies have an especially good opportunity to use social media to really connect with readers and users and point them in the direction of content that suits their interests and needs. If my local bar / hospital / post office can do the same, I’ll follow.

    It does take a ton of time, though, and the only way it’ll work is to have someone with a company take ownership of the platforms and act as both an advocate for the audience as well as the company.

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  • Anonymous

    At Digital Marketing World, in the Anatomy of a Strong Corporate Blog session, Christi Day, Public Relations Coordinator and Spokesperson from Southwest Airlines, hit upon similar themes, when she mentioned that blogging is not a nine to five job, and you have to have the resources available in the first place, as well as committed staff, who are prepared to make and excited about making this kind of intense investment in building long-term relationships.

    New to blogging, I’ve made what feels like a full-time commitment, just launching my new blog this month, with about seventeen posts.
    I’m also completing @problogger’s 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, and in between writing posts, reading and starting to comment on other posts, promoting my blog, and keeping up with my tweets, I am more and more aware of just how much work social media involves.

    I can see why you say, though social media is not rocket science, “…It does take a ton of time…and the only way it’ll work is to have someone within a company take ownership of the platforms and act as both an advocate for the audience as well as the company.”

    Social media is not something that organizations can do half-way. I think if you undertake social media, you need to make the full investment and really build relationships right & for the long-term. A superficial or half-hearted attempt at social media would be more detrimental to a company (that is, more insulting to customers’ expectations) than no online presence at all.

    If you’re going to do it, do it right, and that’s going to require a dedicated resource, with as you suggest, a lot more than a few extra bullets, tacked onto someone’s existing position responsibilities.

    The many tweeters this month, including myself, who are falling behind @problogger’s challenge: “31 Days to Build a Better Blog” (an excellent, excellent intro to blogging, by the way) can now attest to this post’s title “Just as Difficult as it Seems,” though in a follow-up post, we can say, “Still Worth It.”

  • http://pegmulligan.com/ Peg Mulligan

    At Digital Marketing World, in the Anatomy of a Strong Corporate Blog session, Christi Day, Public Relations Coordinator and Spokesperson from Southwest Airlines, hit upon similar themes, when she mentioned that blogging is not a nine to five job, and you have to have the resources available in the first place, as well as committed staff, who are prepared to make and excited about making this kind of intense investment in building long-term relationships.

    New to blogging, I’ve made what feels like a full-time commitment, just launching my new blog this month, with about seventeen posts.
    I’m also completing @problogger’s 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, and in between writing posts, reading and starting to comment on other posts, promoting my blog, and keeping up with my tweets, I am more and more aware of just how much work social media involves.

    I can see why you say, though social media is not rocket science, “…It does take a ton of time…and the only way it’ll work is to have someone within a company take ownership of the platforms and act as both an advocate for the audience as well as the company.”

    Social media is not something that organizations can do half-way. I think if you undertake social media, you need to make the full investment and really build relationships right & for the long-term. A superficial or half-hearted attempt at social media would be more detrimental to a company (that is, more insulting to customers’ expectations) than no online presence at all.

    If you’re going to do it, do it right, and that’s going to require a dedicated resource, with as you suggest, a lot more than a few extra bullets, tacked onto someone’s existing position responsibilities.

    The many tweeters this month, including myself, who are falling behind @problogger’s challenge: “31 Days to Build a Better Blog” (an excellent, excellent intro to blogging, by the way) can now attest to this post’s title “Just as Difficult as it Seems,” though in a follow-up post, we can say, “Still Worth It.”

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