social media – the red light district?

I had a quick chat yesterday with Marc Meyer and was struck by his tweet:

If I hear another company say, we’re “doing social media”

“Doing social media” is something a lot of us hear far too many times and honestly, makes it sound like a cheap date that you pick up in a dimly lit alley.


Social Media is not:

– A cheap and easy business strategy
– Something you just ‘do’ and immediately reap the benefits from
– A one-night fling of utter bliss and then thrown aside the next business day
– A biz model that can be purchased and become certified in by anyone who wants to ‘do it’
– A plug n’ play or one-size-fits-all strategy
– Or a niche that happens to knock on your office door and comes in & fixes everything

Social Media is:

– Something you immerse yourself in, learn, practice and practice again
– A strategy that is different based on the company and catered accordingly
– A niche that evolves every day, thus making every day one of new learnings
– A communications channel with your community that requires constant contact & monitoring
– About building relationships with your community, which can’t be ‘done’ and tossed aside the next day w/o repercussions

Albeit a bit of a raunchy analogy, I think you get the point. Social media isn’t the one-hit wonder that fixes a broken business model, but one that takes complete commitment and provides a vital extension to & helps enhance your current strategy.

I could go on and on about the Is Not and Is points but I’d rather hear what you’d add to it. Let me know what your list looks like.

photo credit: wili_hybrid

9 comments On social media – the red light district?

  • is…an online forum where divergent and often conflicting views and perspectives are shared openly.

    is…a community made up of your customers and stakeholders that tells *you* what your brand is.

    is…social! Personally and professionally. Organizations should let their personalities shine through (see Zappos, SWA for example). People want to feel more personally connected to and emotionally invested in the organizations they connect with and buy from.

    Oh, and love the “I’m doing social media reference” Sonny. Is that like saying I’m “doing 18” this afternoon? That one always kills me on the golf course.

  • Social media is not:
    -a business by itself
    -just another promotional tool
    -a girl you can impress with shiny things

    Social media is:
    -customer service on steroids
    -the girl you must constantly try your best with

  • Social media is also not simply having a Facebook page without a plan to drive people to it. Social media is not a technology without a voice, a brand, a personality, a message.
    Social media is not separate from “traditional” media and messaging; it is integrated.

  • Agreed… I’ve seen to many companies start blogs and just let them die. Definitely takes work, a plan and even staffing to make it work effectively.

  • @Sonny: all I have to say is: “Well said!”

  • Social media, like relationships and like conversations take work, effort and the ability to check ego at the door. Well said Sonny.

  • Social media is not: a tactic in a campaign. Social media is: an ongoing commitment to involvement in the community, but one that reaps rewards.

    I enjoyed the “red light” comparison. Great post!

  • loving the analogy! i sometimes wonder whether we should still be talking about ‘social media’ as a separate discipline, when really it’s part of everything right now. Online and offline and in a way, it has always been there – now we users just have the tools to make a difference when expressing our opinion.

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