In these days of the new economy and internet 2.0, one can suffer from information overload.
All the information one can want or need is available on line… If one applies the proper amount of time, effort and diligence.
However, if you make the effort to gather the information, the question then becomes: how relevant is the information you receive? Do you have the time or expertise to sift through all the B.S. in order to separate the gold nuggets from the turds?
For the past 15 years, I have spent a great deal of time online. I was one of the first in my neck of the woods to get dial-up and I’ve been using the internet ever since 1993. I have been reading blogs since 2003 and I’ve been on Linked In since 2005. I’ve been linked to and befriended; followed and partnered on more websites than I can keep straight. I comment, I blog, I tweet and I update and I subscribe to over 50 different blogs and my inbox is stuffed everyday with highlights and words of wisdom from gurus all over the world. I am as connected as a man my age has any right to be.
So, what is my point? The point is; I feel I am qualified to finally make a statement about the value of social media (the new darling of the media illuminati) and here it is: Social media is a virtual river of B.S. flowing into your office or home, particularly in the area of marketing. It is up to you to filter the truth from the crap and it isn’t easy. One corollary to my statement is this: the old rules of marketing still apply. You have only three resources you can apply to advertise your business: time, talent or treasure.
To be successful in social media, you either need to spend the time yourself to figure it out, to develop the expertise needed to work your own strategy on-line or you must pay someone to do it for you. If you decide to pay someone to do it for you, they had better damn well know what they are doing or they can cause significant damage to your image and therefore your company. Simple as that.
Most of the people on social media websites are busy trying to impress others and many come off looking like fools. Many of the self-appointed “gurus” are trying to sell their particular program of “how to use social media” to everyone else. Most of them are all selling the same uncertain ideas – in other words, they are guessing at this point. This particular form of interaction with consumers (social media) is too new for anyone to have developed hard and fast rules for what works. Most of those who tell you otherwise are full of “wishful thinking” or something else.