jusummerhayes (jusummerhayes) wrote,

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Finding the social media silver bullet

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm."
Winston Churchill

I've lost count of the number of posts I've read extolling one success methodology over another. But, reading between the lines, there is always an agenda; namely to sell you something - consulting, products or a freemium service.

What's lacking is any meaningful customer/client input, different/brilliant content and interpretation of the data.
As to a silver bullet, I’m still looking…

Social media is not something you can buy off the shelf. And that means doing some heavy lifting beyond a few Tweets, the occasional blog post and a series of not-so-amusing posts to Facebook/Google+.

The thing is before you can get down in the weeds and start creating like a madman, you have to understand that your approach is very likely to be the same as the rest of your market. That shouldn't come as a surprise. What you need to do is connect with your audience in a way that marks you out as someone to follow, watch or engage with.

You could do worse that set yourself the objective of answering these questions (in the next 48 hours!):

  1. What's missing?

  2. What is my core message?

  3. Am I in this for the long term or do I expect to make a quick £/$? (Guess what if you think this is easy, then go and do something different.)

  4. Do I love my customers?

  5. Am I willing to work for nothing?

  6. Can I be bothered?

  7. Do I love change/innovation/taking risks?

  8. What is brilliant content?

  9. Do I understand my demographic?

  10. How much do I intend to make from social media and over what period?

I don't want you to think that simply answering these questions (or others) will light up the night sky of social media, but they will go a long way to you understanding whether you are willing to move beyond the average. Perhaps that's it. Absent a long, hard look at what ignites your passion, and something that will connect with a tribe greater than a few, you might just be wasting more than a few hours of your life.

From a personal perspective, I must admit to losing my social media mojo from time to time. It hardly helps that when I look for inspiration I'm tripped up by all these stories of people who've made it big. Part of me defaults to that internal dialogue that doubts not just my nascent efforts but the market I've chosen. That's not to denigrate those people who create businesses on the back of their social media efforts, but there is a temptation to look for the line of least resistance. Of course, you may not have that degree of freedom. Your business and its products/services are unlikely to change in sufficient time for you to grasp the upswing of the social media market. And there is such a thing as sticking to the knitting...

In the final analysis, you have to be willing to play the long game. And a game where you challenge everyone to get better every single day. I’m a big fan of Kaisen methodology if only because it doesn’t look as scary as trying to see into the future beyond tomorrow.

I know there will those people who want to bring you round sharpish to the return on investment of social media – and that’s fine – but I think the market is still too immature for most businesses to truly understand the framework. Instead, they should focus on getting the internal dynamic right i.e. more people freed up to be social media maniacs. Get that part right and the leverage is going to be a whole lot easier than continually relying on the same people for the same material.

For me I will continue to explore, fail and engage until I feel that I’ve discovered my true self. Only then will I know if all this time devoted to social media is an extension of me and my business or a mighty big distraction.

Tags: blogs

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