As I continue on in my new venture, I have to continually take a step back in what I've been brainwashed into thinking when it comes to Social Media. As companies continue to quickly run into the space to play catch up with the Starbucks of the world for sheer size of community and thinking of individuals within that community as a media measurement, they are missing out and passing by some amazing opportunities. Real life relationships with customers, real life engagement with individuals, a chance to change minds, an opportunity to support or celebrate, to laugh and cry... That's what companies are missing. On the quest to 1 million fans on Facebook, the real value has been shot out the window. I'm taking a pledge here to never forget what "Social" media is all about... relationships. Here's a list of things that I'm finding again:

  • Plan for value - Foundational strategies are great, but the true essence is the value you exchange with the community
  • Engage - I mean truly engage... have your community manager really make an effort to meet and greet any new members in the community and try to understand what they want out the relationship.
  • Deliver - Make promises that you over deliver on. If someone comes on board to learn, give them something to learn. If you tout your community as a thought leader, make sure you're a thought leader.
  • Take a deep breath - A past co worker had a great picture of a marathoner crossing the finish line to epitomize social media. Social media is a marathon, not a sprint. Slow down. Value the people you have in your community. Add value every step of the way. They are your key to social media success.

I challenge you, social marketing ninja/guru/honcho/etc to take a step back and identify what it is you truly are doing? Are you social or are you just another metric on a scorecard? Do you truly engage or are you pushing message and praying for a "Like?" Now is a great time to reexamine what we're doing.

What could you do different?

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