This is a great post about social networks and really points out the control and choice that people have when it comes to consuming information and forming relationships. For me, it also points out fundamental problems with so many company’s social marketing strategies. The idea that you can simply create a blog and people will come and read it, push out a podcast and throngs of individuals will come clamoring to listen to it, or upload a video to YouTube and expect thousands to come watch it is mistaken. It is more of a conversation than that. People interact with people, not faceless businesses. It requires active participation, and you must add value in some way. From an ROI perspective, it may not behoove you to participate. The question of whether it should be a part of your marketing budget really depends on your product and service offerings, what you are trying to achieve, and who your audience is.
However, from a personal and professional development standpoint, especially if you are in marketing, advertising, or pr, it is extremely important. What do you see when you Google yourself? Not much? That probably doesn’t help you in a business climate that increasingly relies on the web. Social networks offer the ability to dramatically improve your personal scalability. In addition, you will get to meet people you might not have otherwise met, and have the chance to learn more than you would have ever expected. You will grow your personal brand and while doing it, guess what, you might also find the right opportunity to introduce the brand that cuts you your paycheck.