Are Entrepreneurs Getting Social Media All Wrong?
This post is a response to an article I read recently: Guy Kawasaki Explains How Entrepreneurs Are Getting Social Media All Wrong
However, being a social media mentor doesn’t make him infallible. (If you read the comments on that original post, you’ll see that his guruship isn’t unanimous).
In his interview for BusinessInsider.com, Guy is asked:
Let’s say an entrepreneur is new to the whole social media thing. There’s a tendency to hire a consultant and formulate a plan. Is that the right approach?
No. Just dive in. Dive in to Facebook or Google+ or Twitter. Create a personal account and test the water. See what those sensibilities are, and just have at it. This is very different than the typical expert telling you that you first have to set your strategy and your goals and have this massive document and a working plan. I think that’s a mistake. It’s very difficult to create goals and strategies for something like Google+ or Facebook or Twitter if you’re not familiar with Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.social kred
I often say that businesses have to be social from the inside out. It’s more important that they understand “why” they want to be social, not just “how”.
I understand Guy’s point as I’ve always maintained that it is far better to help clients who already have some knowledge of how the tools work.
Then again, if I represented an IT company and was selling a new system, I imagine it would make my work much easier if the company already knew how to use the technology.
How many small businesses and entrepreneurs have the time to spend learning the ins and outs of Twitter or Google+?
Even if they do use Facebook at home, it’s quite another thing to know how to run a FB or G+ Page.
As a social media strategist, I obviously have some bias here, but wouldn’t it be more time and dollar efficient to have someone cut to the essentials of what your business needs to meet your goals.
Social media can be a huge time pit. Ask anyone who tries to keep up with the latest tools (Pinterest, anyone?) or FaceBook changes.
Here’s something else Guy says in this interview that surprised me:
…social media enables you to (express themselves to customers) in a fast, free, and ubiquitous way. You really can’t spend money on social media unless you really try. Social media is really more about effort than expense.
This is a myth that was created as a door opener to get clients to into social media. We have since learned that a successful social media plan (and yes, you do need a plan) takes time and as far as I remember from managing several companies: Time is money!
Most small businesses don’t need a complicated strategy or “massive document and working plan”. They just need guidance.
They need a social strategist who has already invested the time and money, to help them set goals and social KPI’s that respond to the company’s “why”.
As a companion piece to this, I highly recommend you read this article by Mediabadger:
I’m very interested in your thoughts on this. Are entrepreneurs and small businesses wasting time and money on social media specialists?
About Ray Hiltz
Ray Hiltz is a Social Media Strategist with management roots in restaurant, hotel and performing arts. A strong proponent for the power of collaborative communication and "humanized" digital networking, Ray writes about social media, social business and Google Plus. His clients include hotels, restaurants, consulting firms, entrepreneurs, writers and individuals just trying to make sense of "social". Ray is a popular speaker on Social Media, Social Business and Google+.