A few weeks ago, I had the good fortune to witness an awesome panel discussion on Social Media held by NAMA (The Nashville Chapter of the American Marketing Association). One of the panelists, Erick Goss (Managing Partner at Creative Trust Media), made an excellent statement about the commitment necessary for social media to work effectively.
I’ve slightly sanitized Erick’s description to make it more palatable to a “PG audience”, but essentially, it goes like this: Social Media in comparison to Traditional Media (like TV ads, Newspapers, Magazines, etc.), is like the difference between going on a blind date (traditional media) versus a marriage (social media). Traditional Media is typically a one-shot deal, where you’re spending a lot of time and money (usually the latter) hoping that it will pay off, kind of like you do with a blind date. Yes, you’ve known people that have gone on wonderful blind dates, but there are also plenty of horror stories. The point here is that it’s a one-time gamble that you hope will pay off big, it could work, or it could not. You could have a great time, or you could end up in tears.
Whereas with social media, just by its very nature of planning and the time commitment it takes, it is more so like a marriage. It’s time put in, for hopefully the right reasons, that will have both long and short-term results, and while it won’t be all roses, you can’t just ditch it the minute something goes wrong. Or as Erick said “If my wife gets mad at me, she can’t just get rid of me”.
So, it seems to me that Social Media is like “the new hot girl on the block”. Everybody wants to date it, but no one’s putting a ring on it, because they just don’t quite trust her yet! It makes sense, but if you look around, you’ll see the people that are doing the best things with social media today, have made a long-term strategic commitment to fitting it into their brand’s message.
I think having this “Blind Date vs. Marriage” imagery is a great way to encapsulate just what it takes to make social media work.
So, with that in mind: Are you ready for a long-term commitment?
Kindra Cotton, Small Business Survival Specialist