As “Social Media” is becoming the ubiquitous catch-all flashpoint of digital marketing – and perhaps all marketing – it is becoming more apparent that the speed of development and change increases the challenge of just keeping up. The true Zen of Social Media is understanding that you don’t know all the answers and can only really develop the resources to continue gaining the knowledge.
Many companies are just scratching the surface when they decide to “have a Facebook or a Twitter” and the breadth of possibilities in the space could be overwhelming beyond that. As such, its a good thing that there are more and more “specialists” coming to the forefront who can help guide the way through Social Media. But, I am of the belief that it is almost silly to call anyone a Social Media Expert as there are so many ways to skin this cat and it really comes down to someone who can marry what your product or brand needs and what are the best solutions at the time.
Certainly, you can set a course for social and start down that path, but it is imperative to constantly tighten and refine based on available resources, outlets, environments, audiences and audience response. But from the individual level through the organizational level, it must become part of the culture that Social Media is a constantly evolving and therefore; learning environment. To set a course, communicate that course and then just follow it exactly to the letter in the Social Media realm will probably do more damage in the long run. And, the person who intimates that they have all the answers is pure folly.
The beauty is that there are enough people sharing ideology online to enable anyone to do some research – if they have the time. Even with a specialist on staff, I would suggest having the drive to get some of the basics. The three main components are Owned, Earned and Bought.
In this case, Josh Dreller covers some of the main ways to execute the Bought component of Social Marketing in his iMedia entry. He provides a few basics, but is certainly not giving a full overview as he does not include some of the other options and suppliers. I also think his posit that these pieces are overlooked is either not true or off the point. What is overlooked is the machanics of how you can effectively use Bought to move people to Owned and Earned. But, ultimately, by reading this blog, you can gain a stronger basic understanding of what is available and what is needed.
The adage that the journey is the important part is a necessity when talking about Social Media as it seems that we are never going to be able to keep up with the incredible pace of development to be able to master the field and call ourselves experts. Those with the drive to experiment, experience and expand their knowledge will be the ones who just find themselves ahead of the others in that quest.