Social Media: Easy as 1-2-3?

With all due respect to Jay Baer, who is among the leading thinkers about social media, a post he wrote about “The Five Step Process for Social Media Success” is another example how many of us are guilty of making social media look easy.

In fairness to Jay, there are things that companies do need to embrace to give themselves a better chance of social media success. At the same time, social media success is as much art as science. There are no sure-fire or easy ways to be successful or even quasi-successful. Instead, companies have to execute strategically and tactically – the same approach they take to other parts of the business.

The blog posts and articles offering the secrets to social media success are part of a well-oiled marketing machine hoping to take advantage of new, emerging and potentially large market. Everyone is working hard to grab a piece of the pie so marketing their experience and expertise is part of how the game is being played these days.

For companies, however, there are no short-cuts to social media success – keeping in mind that success can be defined in many ways. Instead, companies need to focus on making sure they put the pieces in place to prevent themselves from failing.

It means creating strategic plans that take into account how social media fits in the bigger corporate picture, what companies want to get from social media, how they will define and measure success, who is going to make social media happen on a day-to-day bais, and the competitive landscape.

Then, it is a matter of having the right people to execute as well as possible.

Even then, social media can not be a success for a variety of reasons – anything from the inability to use tactical best practices to content that fails to engage or inspire.

The bottom line is there’s no easy route to social media success, or a recipe that can be followed to make it hard. All you can do is plan properly, execute as well as you can, and make adjustments along the way.

2 Comments on “Social Media: Easy as 1-2-3?”

  1. Good post. I appreciate the feedback. I’ve often been accused of making social media too complex, so to get busted for oversimplification is a nice change. I stand by the point of my infographic – which is that story harvesting and kinship creation are the key to social media. Not followers, or clicks or video views. Those are all means to an end.

    We have to realize that the point isn’t to be good at social media, the point is to be good at business because of social media. That’s what I was trying to get at, and I thought doing it graphically would have more impact that another rambling post from me.

    However, I acknowledge that the labeling of the graphic and the post are sub-standard. It’s not really a “success” equation at all. I struggled mightily with the headline for that one, and settled on it due solely to the fact that I thought it would get a wider audience. I’m not ashamed to admit it. Not proud, but not ashamed. I wasn’t trying to be disingenuous, and hope that my 300+ other posts tip the scales in my favor in the final accounting.

    1. Jay,

      If anyone doesn’t have to apologize when it comes to offering social media advice and counsel, it’s you. (Note: anyone who is interested in social media, should make Jay’s blog a must-read). I guess my point was that those of us who have immersed social media are sometimes guilty of making it seems too easy or straightforward when, in fact, we know that being successful takes a lot of planning, hard work and some luck. As well, the reality is we’re still at the selling stage within social media’s evolution. As much as may like to believe everyone is getting social media, there are still a lot of people and companies that have no clue about what’s going on and/or what to do. It means there’s an appetite for information that is easily digestible as opposed to stuff that ventures too far into the weeds.

      Another way of looking at it is your post sparked some good discussion about social media and, I think, at this point this is an important and necessary ingredient.

      Thanks for the comment.

      cheers, Mark

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