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