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Is Social Really That Important?

All businesses have recognized that social media is here to stay. WRONG!

In a recent interview with Kyle Lacy on this blog, the lead question was, “Now that most organizations have recognized that social media is here to stay – how will organizations train their staff?” I want to address the premise of that question rather than the answer.

Not all organizations are businesses, so let me limit my scope. I think businesses recognize that social media, whatever that may be, is here. I think many are hoping it goes away.

Most business owners, especially small business, are overwhelmed. Would you disagree? There is so much on their plate right now, today, that they can’t imagine working on the things in Stephen Covey’s “Important/Not Urgent” quadrant. That proactive quadrant is a good place to put social media activity.

Granted, many of you who are making your living pushing (think about that irony) social media would say that it is most certainly urgent. While I can easily conceive of truly urgent social media situations, such as a PR crisis, this is a strategy category that requires serious and thoughtful consideration.

Integrating social media in to all aspects of business, from R & D and sales to customer service and PR, is critically important. Frenetic, arbitrary, and reactive activities will, most likely, do more harm than good.

One upside to the ever churning faddish nature of social media platforms is, if you screw-up, there’s a chance for redemption. So don’t give up just because you botched your Friendster campaign. It may take some time, but you’ll probably get another chance to do it right, especially if you aren’t a big brand.

Businesses should recognize that social media, in its many and constantly evolving forms, is here to stay. Any particular platform, tactic or channel may fizzle, but the fundamental concepts are part of the new marketing landscape.

Here’s the main point I want to make: Social media isn’t something that comes after the real work gets done, IT IS THE REAL WORK.

Businesses need to start treating social media activity, whatever that needs to be in their context, as fundamental, mission critical, day-to-day business activity.

So whether it’s Tweeting, Liking, Plusing or Pinning, get to work.

About Bill Bean

Bill is an occasional and large contributor to the Firebelly blog. Most days you can find him chained to his desk at Deep Ripples, a search marketing agency on Indy's east side. Catch him on Twitter and Google+ as well.

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