Monday, September 13, 2010

Social Media: It's What You Do on the Toilet, Stupid.

Social media is not low-flow.

Social media is not a panacea. Most of us social creatures have heard this a few times, experts have heard it hundreds. It is not a panacea; it is a lens to look at your (business) world through. Even if it were a cure-all, by the time you figured how to use it, your problems are likely to have changed. For example, if you wanted to be taller and social media promised it could deliver, would you be okay if you were balding by the time you got it? Did you have a reason you wanted to be taller or was it just a want?

Social media is easy, fun and rewarding in a fiscal sense. You can also do it all while sitting on your toilet. In only 5 minutes a day.

The only thing that is true in those last few sentences is that social media IS rewarding and *can* be financially rewarding as well. Social media can be a grind but learning generally is. Studying Korean language is easy, fun and a financially rewarding. This is another slightly less than true statement. In college, I studied Korean for three years. Two years in the U.S. & one in South Korea and the truth of the matter is I can barely speak any Korean. Pretty rough stuff considering the drive I had to learn the language and the amount of effort I put into it.

I never thought learning an Asian language was going to be easy but I was willing to do a lot. I even stayed in Seoul twice as long that I expected due to the difficultly of the task. The extended stay not 100% by choice. While trying my damnedest to learn a foreign language, I failed a lot more than I excelled. Even after studying this one specific topic extensively, I still feel like a failure in that particular area. If I had to guess, it would take me another 2-5 years while living in Korea to learn Korean well enough to say that I speak it.

Social media is like a language and if anyone tells you that you can learn in a few minutes a day, that person is a liar. I've been getting paid for social media for a while now and it is time consuming, just like learning a language. If you or your company wants to make it work, it is a commitment. If you are not committed you will never make it. It might start like a weekend vacation but if you want to be successful, you will have to consider living here.

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