Ok, I lied. There is no 10 step plan. There’s not a 5 step plan. It doesn’t exist. Just doesn’t. Stop looking for it. It kills me, daily, to see posts written from publications and would be experts, spouting advice…offering some holy grail of a playbook. It’s bad for all of us.
You want the truth? Social Media is HARD. It’s not even on the same continent as easy. It’s painfully difficult. Well, it’s hard and difficult to do it right…to do more than simply optimize Facebook posts or recommend what content to pin. If there’s one thing I’ve seen up close and very personal, social media ain’t easy.
To trick yourself into believing the answers can be found in a book, at a conference or in some blog post, is to set yourself up for a path to failure. You have to constantly try different things. You have to fail…repeatedly…over and over. You have to get frustrated. You have to get to the point of wanting to quit, because it’s gotten too tough, but then you come back the next day with even more resolve to succeed. I’m serious. It’s not until you find yourself in one of those conversations, where you can’t believe that person A or team X is really debating the merits of doing [insert idea] in social, that you’ll finally be ready to understand how hard it really is.
Stop looking for the quick fix. Don’t read the 10 Simple Steps To Social Media Success, posts…they’re simply holding you back. Get into the thick of it. Mix it up. Experiment. Learn. Fail. Experiment again and again. If I could impart one legitimate piece of advice to someone looking to lead social media at an organization it would be to study the 20 to 30 people in this world, who understand social media and are doing it every day, at scale for complex organizations. Pay more attention to Scott Monty than Chris Brogan. Study Rick Wion and pass on the books from Mack Collier. Pick up a phone and call Scott Gulbransen, I bet he’ll pick up, and pass on the call from so called social media consultancy with all the answers.
The truth, the honest truth, there’s a really small group of people who have succesfully built and lead social media at complex organizations. They’re out there though. And I have a feeling, they’d tell you, what I just said: social media is HARD.