Griff Says: ‘Your transparency is see-through’
By David D. “Griff” Griffith
Every time I get into a conversation with people about the use of social media for marketing themselves, their businesses or organizations, I seem to get the same questions.
How often should I blog? How many people should I follow on Twitter? How many friends or members or fans should I have on Facebook? How often and when should I tweet or update? How often should I broadcast, how often should I provide information and how often should I engage in conversation? How much is too much and how much is just self-promotion?
Interestingly enough, these are all HOW questions. Nearly unfailingly, the most important questions overlooked are the WHAT and WHY questions. After that, the next most important is determining the WHERE. The last question they need to ask, if necessary at all, should be the HOW. In fact, once the why, what and where are known, the how almost becomes obvious.
Before even caring to consider the how, one need first carefully ask what their initial strategy for using social media is. What is the goal they’ve set out in advance to achieve? What is it they want to accomplish? Why are specific channels chosen in preference over others? Where are the people you want to find going to be? Without knowing what they want to accomplish and why they are doing it, and where they are doing it, then no matter how they are doing it, it will likely lead to a no good or sustainable result.
If they do not know what they want to achieve, there is no metric available to determine if they achieve it. If the why is not clear, then there will be little chance of establishing any clear or meaningful communication. And without searching out where people are, it is going to be pretty much like shouting into the wind.
Before undertaking entry into the use of social media at all, they must first also take a step back and ask the question: What do people want? The millennium survey, done by Gallop in 1998, indicates people want trust and respect, and to be valued and appreciated. It is largely accepted that there is a requirement to be authentic and transparent to respond and deliver to these needs. This is why determining the what, the why and the where are so crucial. Without this, the how takes precedence, and trust and respect are abused, and people are neither valued nor appreciated.
Authenticity, what’s real and true, is lost, and everything is reduced to a tactic instead of a principle. As much as people know, according to the Gallop survey, what they want, then they are very likely to recognize what they do not want as well. People can generally access when something is being done to them instead of with or for them. This, too, is transparent.
Remember, there is no shortcut to forming personal relationships. There are no fixed algorithms or formulas to use. If anyone tells you they have definite methods or answers without first spending any time looking at goals and the issues in getting to them, then a healthy skeptic’s early warning system should go off repeating loudly: “WARNING: Your transparency is see-through.”
David D. “Griff” Griffith is a serial entrepreneur and networker and an evangelist of Web 2.0 and Social Media. A veteran of the internet, Griff has been an early adopter and innovator since the introduction of the World Wide Web; having now spanned the globe using tools from Bulletin Boards (BBS) to Usenet to Internet Relay Chat (IRC) to Twitter to…beyond!
From the Aug. 5-11, 2009, issue
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