To engage in social media or not to engage. Remember when websites first came out? The early adopters were first and then slowly everyone showed up. And they were really, really bad! With social media we’re part of the way through that process. Many organizations are starting to realize that social media isn’t going away and this new way of interacting is a forgone conclusion. So now CEOs are scratching their heads trying to decide of they should start to engage themselves or hire it out. The ROI is still seen by some as sketchy and perhaps a waste of money.
Here’s the problem on both counts. If you decide to DIY (do it yourself), you’ll probably become overwhelmed. Every day there is a new social thing and it is not possible to know all of it, especially at once. The overwhelming feelings quickly can lead to denial and quitting, or doing it in a half baked way. Simply posting “something” everyday isn’t really engaging.
The problem with hiring out social media to a third party is you don’t get the unintended benefits of engagement. Going through the process of connecting with others in the social media space opens your eyes to the big world out there. You learn what is happening beyond the four walls of your organization, within your industry and out. Yes it takes time, but you begin to truly develop an expertise far beyond what you had before.
By listening (hearing) and engaging with your customers in this space you have something you didn’t before. They say we live in the Information Age but I would argue that we live in the Age of Knowledge.
Knowing is bigger than wondering. Hearing is bigger than listening. It’s like the difference between playing the notes and playing music. There is a big difference. Knowing is power, comfort, security, inspirational.
So what to do? Become a student of how to do it right. Take a social media class, read some books and start gradually. The benefit of knowing will come back ten fold. I’d love to hear from you on your fears of getting started, or your successes in learning and knowing.