Everyone is looking for the easy way.
Social media participants are not exempt. Many people create automated accounts with RSS feeds to share other people’s news, thoughts and commentary with their community. Some will link all of their social media so it only takes one blog post or tweet to populate their social media world.
Many social media members don’t reply to comments made by people who take the time to acknowledge their work. Some do the minimum just to say they are using social media. They repurpose industry news and rarely offer an original thought. Seriously, setting up an account on Facebook and Twitter is not active social media.
Passive, unengaged social media earns passive results.
The people who engage with their community receive the rewards. That doesn’t mean strategic automation or feeds can not be a valuable part of some social media programs. Answering questions and responding to comments is always part of the program. I preload Twitter with information, ideas, and thoughts the night before or early in the morning so I will be more consistent and keep the conversation flowing.
Although I have preset tweets, I still share additional thoughts, retweet and comment throughout the day. I’m active.
I’ve worked with many companies that want to take advantage of the benefits of social media. I’ve found few willing to do what it takes to actually be successful in social media. To be fair, many of these people are overstretched marketing and public relations professionals. They do have budgets to hire an outside firm to at least put up a good front if they can’t do it themselves.
As for individual professionals, you have two choices when it comes to marketing: You can invest time or money. Unfortunately, for many professionals, both are in short supply with money being the most scarce. If you are going to invest time into social media, make sure you are around for the opportunities.
Passively sending stuff out there and checking in once in a while is like checking your e-mail once a week or logging on to voicemail only on Saturdays. Doing business like this is unacceptable.
It’s as bad as attending a networking event, handing out a stack of cards, and running out the door. That doesn’t work very well. No meaningful connections are actually made. This isn’t networking and neither is passive social media.