I just want to reiterate how happy I am to have Mitch Lieberman not only contributing to the Outsiders blog – but doing so in an increasingly independent and though-provoking manner. He is always a great catalyst for my ideas – now more so than ever. Thanks.
Mitch’s post this morning got me thinking. Mitch makes an excellent point around the value of “Initiative” and how empowering your employees to go out there and do the legwork of the early stages of a social CRM initiative will reap dividends down the line.
I agree 100%. Of course, there needs to be some guidelines and a unified goal here – but overall, it is the heroes that “get it” in your organization around social that need to be identified and nurtured into your social branding champions.
But, as Mitch notes, this takes TIME. Sometimes, a lot of time. Take Outsiders as an offshoot of SugarCRM branding for example. You would think that with the most popular open source CRM app on the planet – the Outsiders blog would have simply taken off overnight. But in reality, the blog is just hitting its stride – thanks in part to a lot of hard work, great content (thanks again Mitch) and some legwork to network in some great observers and practitioners for comments and conversation. This actually took almost THREE YEARS to do!
It is an odd irony actually. I mean, as a consumer of social media we are accustomed to instant gratification: finding answers, “jumping the queue” when it comes to customer service, connecting with people across the world in seconds.But, when we are the creators of social content, with any attempt to create a consistent and meaningful conversation – the amount of work and time to get there is almost daunting. (If I was better at remembering and collecting figures I’d note a more exact amount of abandoned blogs in the world after only a few posts – again I don’t know the exact figure but it amounts to roughly a metric crapload 😉 )
Again, creating remarkable content on a regular basis is sometimes a pain. Most of us (I know myself included) are just expected to create and permeate our social brands, in addition to traditional engineering, sales, marketing, support etc. duties. It can feel like there just isn’t enough time in the day to create thoughtful content.
But my only advice is to resist the urge to “phone it in.” Don’t simply become a re-tweeting machine. Don’t make all your corporate blog posts simple “round ups” of other peoples’ ideas. The hard work, and patience, will pay off. I think Mitch Lieberman is a great example. He has worked hard and created an amazing network and level of respect around himself in this space. That definitely did not happen overnight, right Mitch 😉
As they say, patience IS a virtue…