Leadership Communication: Improved by Online Communities, or...
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Do Social Media Right, Not Quick

by Guest Blogger, Lena West, Chief of Social Media Strategy at xynoMedia

Miketpe I was reading The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur by Mike Michalowicz while in San Fran last week attending a meeting on both of Google's FABULOUS campuses. (The thing is, if you don't have this book, you're missing out. Period. And, he's a great guy, by the by.)

On page 13 of his book, Mike says something about starting a business that absolutely, totally and 1,000% applies to social media as well:

"Launch a company to get rich right, not to get rich quick. It works."

I could paraphrase that to say:

"Use social media to market right, not quick."

So many people have fallen prey to what master heart-centered marketer Mark Silver would call the "lottery syndrome". That is hoping and wishing and praying that this latest marketing tool is "it".

Last week, a potential client set up an appointment with my assistant to speak with me. This woman was an otherwise bright, intelligent woman who had an awesome idea for a blog. I seconded her idea, gave her some tips and she asked for us to submit a proposal. We agreed.

It was a pleasant conversation and at the end she said, "I'm a numbers person so the more you can include what kind of results I can expect, the more the proposal will appeal to me." Busted.

We wrote the proposal, of course, but the more I thought about this, the more I realized that the details she wanted were impossible to truthfully provide. I mean, sure, I could have said, "You can expect 1,000 unique views in the first three months", but that would be hogwash. So, when we presented the proposal, we explained why social media doesn't work like advertising.

The truth is, everyone wants to know how fast they'll have the latest blog hotness. They hear and read stories about bloggers like Obama Girl and YouTube videos like "Yes We Can" and think those are the norm or even close to it. And, that's because that's all the mainstream media focuses on.

No one ever sees the lone blogger who writes consistently for months without even a blip on the radar screen, comment, trackback or Tweet love. (I know you ladies are out there blogging and I hear you.)

What I know for sure is that when you show up regularly with smart, positive things to say about how to make your industry or clients better, people will take notice. When you read what other people have to say and genuinely join the conversation sans agenda, people will take notice. And, then one day, you look up and lo and behold, you're rich.


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Cheryl Miller

Lena - you're such a powerful, positive force! You give encouragement so naturally. Love it! Cheryl

Lena L. West


Thanks for your kind words!

And, thanks for reading and commenting,


Victoria Crowe

As usual, our Lena has something brilliant to say; and I am so very thankful that she shares her insite with us.
Almost spiritual in her carefully thought out approach to sound marketing practices, I NEVER doubt why I like her style so much.
Thanks, Lena!

Lena L. West


I hear you. You're so right. I mean, don't get me wrong, I do like the numbers and I'm a HUGE believer in metrics...but you can't become so focused on the metrics that you lose sight of the "soft/intangibles" that can make or break a brand.

Thanks for reading and commenting!


Hi, I was talking to the 'advocate devil' yesterday about the ROI issue in social media... 'being a number person doesn't mean you have to stop being a person'. Your article resonates completely especially the staying committed and maintaining the desire for understanding part of the lone blogger - let alone the work it means to bring together all these results for the tranquility of these number people. Something isn't just right, at the end of the day, you're work is to make them and their companies more humane - that's an effort that has no comparable value to clicks and views, at least not in the short term.

Lena L. West


Thank you and thanks for reading and commenting!

Marita Greenidge

So true Lena....so true


Lena L. West


Thanks for the run down of Mike's success - and persistence! - in building his web empire. This is a great story for people to read who want everything done quickly.

Thanks for reading and commenting!



Thanks for talking about the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. I really appreciate it.

As the person who manages all of Mr. Michalowicz's social media marketing, and who laid the foundation for his entire social media marketing platform, this blog post alone is a true testament to taking the "slow and steady" wins the race approach when it comes to effectively leveraging social media to build influence, drive traffic and a build a tribe of loyal followers.

Since launching Mike's blog at the beginning of July of 2008 we were lucky to get 100 visitors a day starting out...

Now those 100 visit days are a thing of the past as we are now effortlessly driving anywhere from 20-50K visits a month through his site using web 2.0.

This certainly didn't come easy, but what I can tell you is the way we have achieved such a milestone is because our relentless commitment to continually create a content strategy and staying committed to the necessary daily actions it takes to build a raving community of loyal fans and customers with social media.

To achieve these kinds of results I must tell you that it takes more than just "knowing the nuts and bolts of how to tweet or post a status message in facebook if you really want to effectively leverage these tools for your business."

Understanding the behavior and expectations of those in the different communities, and how to effectively leverage that in a "cool way" using the tools, separates the wannabe's from the specialists you know you can trust.

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