Thought of the Day, Dec 29, 2008
Success at social media can be elusive. Indeed, it seems the failures get more publicity. As NTEN’s Holly Ross points out, we’re often reluctant to try something risky for fear of looking bad. It might behoove us therefore, to be a bit more reckless, but with some strong caveats. For businesses, engaging in social media risks more than looking “silly.” For a big campaign, substantial sums of money are involved. How much did Johnson and Johnson put into the Motrin campaign, only to have that come back and hit them in the face? Social media is not so much about being reckless and taking risks as about evaluating risk and then managing it appropriately. To borrow the oft-used cocktail party metaphor, we think carefully about the situation before we’re always fairly sure we can make a useful meaningful contribution to the conversation before joining in, otherwise we simply continue to listen until the moment is right. No need to take a reckless risk.
“We all hate to look dumb, so rather than try something we might fail at, we don’t try at all. That strategy isn’t going to get us anywhere. At NTEN, we’ll be pursuing all this social media stuff with a little more reckless abandon in 2008. Sometimes we’ll look silly, but at least we’ll try.”
— Holly Ross
Four Lessons in Social Media