THE SOCIAL MEDIA TRAP

My most explosive Fast Company post which covered the topic of Social Media started with this:

“When it comes to branding and the ever-changing social media phenomenon, you’re not a mushroom. In other words, you shouldn’t be kept in the dark and fed a pile of…well, you get the idea.

“Every once in while, a certain business mania surfaces. As you saw in the video above, history is filled with these blips: The telephone. Radio. TV. The fax machine. The Internet. And now social media. Within social media, it splinters further–it seems like there’s always a shiny new network. Before Pinterest, there was Google Plus. Before Google Plus, well, you know the drill. And on and on.”

It was completed by the above video we made.

The responses to the Fast Company post were overwhelming revealing a strand of truth that apparently managed to escape being put in writing prior to now.

WHAT PEOPLE HAD TO SAY

“Best article I’ve read in a while…like a HUGE breath of fresh air….. Thanks for reinforcing that the ‘message is the medium.’ ”

“Brilliant! So many brands rush to ‘distribution’ via these content channels, without having any meaningful content to share. I have told countless clients bent on ‘let’s start a blog!’ that if they can’t answer their phones, they shouldn’t start a blog. Social media isn’t fast or free. It’s slow and purposeful. You nailed it, David, and Tom’s cartoons are inspired. Glad to discover you both via this article.”

“Great read, David. A means to an end – excellent way to put it. Too many brands are too focused on quantity over quality when it comes to social media.”

“Fantastic read! Favorite line: Adding another social media channel to your network will not make an anti-social brand more social. Agreed!”

“True,true, true. It’s like getting pushed out onto a stage without any script prepared. ‘Umm, okay, Hi, you can all see me, but I am not sure what I am here to say’.”

WHY DID OVER 1,300 PEOPLE TWEET THIS?
(AND WHY WILL IT HELP YOUR BUSINESS?)

The same reason LinkedIn posted it on their home page of LinkedIn Today.

There was an immediate recognition of this universal truth that you’ve got to have something to say before you get a megaphone or get your own TV channel or radio show.

It’s a matter of sequence. Would you approach someone to ask them for a date, if you hadn’t worked out what you were going to say first? Of course! That’s part of what made being a teenager a living hell, and uncomfortably awkward.

Which is why I’ve only invited adults to this little briefing. We’ve all done it the wrong way: speak now and figure out later why it all went wrong. Been there. Done that.

So, let’s apply a little bit of uncommon sense and win with social media, by getting our brand in order first.