Social Media. Is it REALLY free?

As I sit and Blog about social media, I can’t help but think how many recent misconceptions I have encountered in casual conversation with successful business owners recently. You hear things in corporate boardrooms like…

“Do you tweet?”
“We need to get a Facebook account.”
“Man, I just don’t have time for that stuff. ”
“Hey it’s free.”

In theory things like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, WordPress, and the list of ongoing social and or visual media depository platforms that continue to find their way into our daily vocabulary are absolutely free. Yes I said it. FREE. So why not use them.

Clearly Identifying the Who!
Who’s going to use it?  Who will set it up and maintain it?  Who’s going to customize it to ensure continuity with your current web presence?  Who’s going to populate it with content and keep it current and active?  Where’s that content going to come from?  How often will you have to update this new online word consuming monster?  What will your customers want to see on your social sites?  Who will be on the other end of the dialog box posed and ready to reply to the millions of potential hungry consumers ready to eat up your digital outlets and consume any value that you’re ready to serve up on a platter.

Who is this Who?
Most companies throw their organizations into the online wind without ever identifying the who only to find out that their social sites develop a negative digital image that is quick to mature but slow to fade.

Meanwhile back in the board room…

“Well, Bob this social media thing has gotten out of hand.  Have you seen some of the things being said about us by our customers?  We’re going to have to shut this thing down.”

Have you ever tried to cancel a free, online account?  Let just all agree to LOL on that one.

Free, meet Paid!
Back in the boardroom…

“Bob I believe were going to have to hire someone to monitor and advocate for us online.”

…and social media becomes paid media!

Meet the Social Media Directors. They’re savvy, street-smart, and digitally intelligent. They’re great communicators, sales-oriented, wear the marketer and consumer caps simultaneously, seemingly at least. They understand the brand. They’re great writers, and they’re company intelligence is (must be) boardroom level.  A true Social Media Director is a senior-level employee that simply doesn’t work for free.

Considering hopping aboard the social highway?  The Routes are many, the gas is high (but always there), and the exits are miles apart!

It might be better to burn out than to fade away.

Just Sayin!

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