Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why Social Media? A Good vs. Evil Debate

Reasons you should (and should not) jump into the SoMedia pool party

If you’re struggling to get to the real motivation for your time in Social Media you may be like the character Pinto in the classic comedy Animal House.

Pinto, a virgin, has a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other giving him conflicting advice about whether he should “un-virgin” himself with an inebriated girl he just met. (For the record, the angel wins out).

Here, then, are some of the reasons you might consider entering Social Media and what your own internal Angel and Devil might say to you.

YOU: It’s where my customers are

Angel: You need to know your customers better and Social Media is a great place to listen and learn. Even potential customers have something to offer you. The more you listen and observe the better you will meet their needs. It will take a time commitment.

Devil: Oh c’mon! The real reason you need to be in Social Media is to sell more stuff, more cheaply. There’s a huge audience out there just waiting for you to sell to them. The best part? It’s free!

YOU: It’s where my employees are

Angel: You’re a good boss and you realize your best assets are your employees. By empowering them to use Social Media and showing the way you will have strong advocates out there. Your only policy on employee Social Media usage is borrowed from Google: “Don’t be evil.”

Devil: What fun is that? Now you can to check up on your employees. You can follow, friend or fan them and then see what they’re really up to. And just when your employees think you “get” the whole Social Media thing you can pull the rug out from underneath them by producing a 145-page Social Media Policy manual.

YOU: It’s where my competitors are

Angel: You can see what your competitors are doing and how they are helping people in Social Media. When a competitor is unable to help you can step in and offer help. Gosh, you might even form a Social Media alliance with a former competitor to better meet your joint customers’ needs.

Devil: No way! You’re gonna use Social Media to spy on your competitors and spread misinformation about them. You’ll use it steal customers and ideas away from the competition.

YOU: It’s where my neighbors are

Angel: In this busy world you can become better connected to the nearby community. You can connect with people, businesses and community groups that all have similar goals – making this place a better place to live. You can use Social Media to offer help where it is most needed.

Devil: But what’s in all this for you? Let me tell you: More networking, more connections and, duh, more money from sales. C’mon Angel all this kumbaya stuff is making me nauseous!

YOU: It’s where everyone else is

Angel: You know, you shouldn’t just go into Social Media to follow the herd. If it doesn’t make sense right now give it some time. A fake or half-hearted effort in Social Media will do you more harm than good.

Devil: Oh really? Don’t be a woos! Everyone else is in the pool, jump in. You don’t want to be last do you? It’s GMOOT (Get Me One of Those) time. Last one in is a …

Well that’s enough from the Devil.

Social Media and whether to jump in can be a tricky decision. Here’s hoping the Angel wins out in your internal debate.

Related posts:
10 Commandments for Social Media
5 Social Media Mistakes
7 Ways to Tell How You’re Doing in Social Media


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