The gloves are off.

I’m sick and tired of seeing companies falter with one of the biggest business opportunities of the century. Digital technology has taken marketing to a whole new level and with everything from CRM to SEO, there are tools being used that can wield great power. In the wrong hands however, they can destroy a brand in seconds and shut the gate on our valuable and shortening attention spans.

As companies it’s time we step up our game, and it’s time we said enough with the social media child’s play.

We’ve all seen the “social media gone wild” posts that tend to go viral from time to time. @KitchenAidUSA is recovering from a recent slip up regarding President Obama, and who could forget finding out what @CrystlerAutos truly thought about the #motorcity.

Crystler Autos Twitter Fail

But that’s not what I’m talking about. Those are just examples of errors of judgment or pranks from people with access to the accounts. Though they are certainly problematic, for all I know, the PR maneuvering and free attention could have been beneficial to the brands.

No, what I’m concerned with is more epidemic and systematic and it stems from a lack of understanding about communication, social networking and value.


That’s over 53 billion and it represents the opportunity the engage with the world. Well actually, it’s more like the amount of time (in minutes) to engage only with American’s on Facebook in just one month. To put that into perspective, it’s 101,674 years.

Can you just imagine how much time is spent by everyone on all the social networks combined?

The communication is unprecedented, and it’s shifting to an “opt-in” system where people only see what they’ve signed up for. I know like most people, I receive information from a variety of sources including Twitter, Email, Facebook and my favorite websites. As a result, there’s an information overload. Consequently, many of us have keen value detectors because we don’t have time for crap.

We’re discerning with our networks and we are often unforgiving with our judgment. You have mere seconds to impress the world and gain entry into each individual’s life. Will your message resonate or will you just be ignored?

In the words of the marketing thought leader David Meerman Scott, “You can buy attention (advertising). You can beg for attention from the media (PR). You can bug people one at a time to get attention (sales). Or you can earn attention by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free.”

If you internalize that concept, the solutions will become apparent.

Delivering value is only possible from truly understand the customer’s wants and needs- not your own. Find out what drives them, what keeps them up at night, and how they like to engage online. Then join where they are and the conversation- make it interesting, make it fun and make it for them.

“If the social media guy is the only one talking, the social media guy failed.” – Steve Woods, CTO of Eloqua.

If social media hasn’t been working for your business then frankly- you’re doing something wrong.

There’s a laundry list of excuses out there, but instead you need solutions. Focus on the customer, and give social the respect it deserves. It’s a prime time event that can’t be driven by someone who is inexperience or unenthused. I’m not saying an intern can’t do the job, but everyone needs to be involved from the CEO down. So don’t worry about “going viral” or hitting homeruns. Instead, build a team that can get on base and sustain the momentum over time.

“Content marketing is a commitment, not a campaign.” – Jon Buscall, Owner of Jontus Media

Did I go too far or hit the nail on the head? Let me know in the comments.