Over the past several weeks I’ve noticed a growing unease in the world of social media. Many of the the best and brightest minds have come under fire for purportedly talking a good game without showing many results.
I am not here to name names or pass judgment on whether it’s true or not as I have no desire to get in that fight and I really don’t follow each one of these individuals that closely. That’s not a cop-out, it’s just I don’t usually like taking sides in a fight that doesn’t involve me.
But this discussion and a recent Businessweek article entitled “Beware Social Media Snake Oil” discussing all of it did reinforce an opinion that I do feel strongly about. Besides thinking some of the BW piece was slanted and not well researched, there were tinges of things in there that I wholeheartedly agree with.
As with any emerging business model or tool, social media is in its infancy for business which means there will be people who want to charge you a ton of money to do nothing but talk at you. Because we all see the power and potential this has to be a game-changer for each of our businesses, everyone is lining up with a check in hand. That is both liberating and terrifying if you trust in the wrong people or the wrong approach.
That aside, I believe many in mainstream business (and the media) fear the rise of consumer controlled content and interactions. The old model of brands and businesses controlling the message is all but dead and many of those of the old-school mindset are petrified. They rather spend their day poking holes in the new social business model than actually make it work to grow their business.
Once you get past the fear factor and those who don’t understand it trying to kill it, you can find the truth. The best place to find out why and how it is working is from the people doing it on the front-lines. That’s people like me and others in corporate America or small business owners like Ramon DeLeon who owns several Dominos Pizza franchises in the Chicago area. We’re not just talking about it – we’re living and breathing it every day and helping our business see better results because of it.
Chicago’s National Night Out video from Ramon DeLeon, Dominos Pizza in Chicago.
We need less of the pundits and experts and more of the everyday business person who is using social media effectively to show results. I want to hear the richness of their stories and about their failures and successes. It’s from them we can learn the most because they’re doing it real-time in the marketplace.
That doesn’t mean we don’t need the pundits or thought-leaders. Without many of them, most of us wouldn’t have been able to get ahead of the curve and start our journey. There’s room for everyone in this sandbox.