Last week I read Jeff Bullas’Top 20 threats to social marketing. It is always nice to see these lists come from some research and time well spent. In so many instances I have worked with clients that have named these exact pain points. I read through this list, I realized a couple things. First, this is what happens when we are trying trail blaze new approaches to old practices. Second, I was so frustrated because it all comes back to two key traits, fear and avoidance. The worse of these realities is that I suffer from these traits in my personal consumption and engagement. I’m guilty of something I preach against. Gasp! So here I am. Finally. I am setting fear and avoidance aside and writing my first post in a long time. Why not take it as an opportunity to discuss what is holding me back. It can be related to all companies and people trying to get out there.
Stop Worrying and Enjoy
I did this a few months ago. I stopped making it a task. I stopped trying to do it perfectly. By perfectly I mean read ALL the posts on ALL the blogs by ALL the smart people. It is really hard to accomplish the impossible. So what was I doing? I was reading a ton (thousands of digital lbs) of content and not all of it was relevant and it was clouding my head. And I learned in college that I love to read but if you tell me to read something I will consume about 5% of it.
Also, I find our industry really interesting. I am pretty excited about this because it is the industry I work in. So I found what I really like within our industry news. Which resulted in purchasing magazine subscriptions to MIT Technology Review and Wired because I appreciate how I am forced to look at things differently and I took 5 minutes to setup my iPad so I could read all the other publications and websites I like over coffee. Not because I am suppose to but because I really enjoy this morning ritual. Because I am absorbing this knowledge I more comfortable with my personal opinions and have the confidence to engage outside my circle.
Honestly, not that many people (Hi mom!) and if they do I am probably doing it right. Right? This fear of people caring is ridiculous and insensible. But it exists and I will find a way to set it aside.
I Have Other Things That Need To Be Managed:
This is exactly what avoidance is. I remember never wanting to clean my room until I had to do homework. Not wanting to run errands until I needed to clean my room. And the cycle continued. I used to do this with engagement until I let myself enjoy it.
Monday and Tuesday this week have been highly productive because I knew I had a goal of getting this blog post out on Monday. This post used to conclude with a “Happy Earth Day”. So I put everything in the later column of my to-do list and the only thing that is must do today is this blog post. I have eliminated any excuse and here we are.
It Takes Time
It’s a broken record. Strategists, community mangers and the like have said this to their client countless times. I think I have preached this more than anything else yet I cannot seem to grasp the idea of no immediate gratification for myself. I enjoy results. I love analytics. I want it now! But I know and believe as much as the next person that we are just scratching the surface on how we will measure behaviors and relationships. It just takes a moment of reflection on your own behavior to know that personal relationships are more powerful in persuasion than any other source.
It Takes Effort
If it were easy everyone would be doing it. Right? And they will... Once we define and mass-produce step-by-step protocol for social marketing team organization, process and this mythical social ROI. But now we have to take the time to evolve our current practices. And this can be painful, political and definitely disruptive. But growth does not exist without these thorns in our sides. We are avoiding something productive because the resources to get it in place would need to be an out-of-pocket expense. But I believe if you are the next to do it better you will have more than a head start on the competition. And the legwork will decline immensely over time.
So here I am overcoming fear and avoidance to deliver you the first of many, weekly posts. Best of luck to those of you on the same path and thanks to you who have continually proven the point that relationships are a necessary practice in today’s digital marketing.
Happy Earth Day!