Over the years I have amassed a pretty impressive collection of mechanic’s tools.
But recently, while removing a part from my car’s motor, I had a “backyard mechanic moment.” The one that mixes the fear that you’ve just broken something with the realization that you could have just gone to someone who knew what the heck she/he was doing.
It reminded me of a truth that some organizations ignore – particularly in the areas of marketing and social media: just because you may possess the tools doesn’t mean you know how to use them.
The fact that we now live our personal lives online, constantly accessing websites and connecting on social media, has led many of us to assume that we can translate our basic understanding of social media into a business context.
But having a Facebook page or posting reviews to Yelp – or even knowing how to build a website – doesn’t necessarily translate into making social media work for a brand.
That requires the expertise to answer some crucial questions: What is your content strategy for consumer engagement and how will you measure effectiveness? What kind of language and tone will accurately convey your brand voice? What kind of content should you provide and how often? What constitutes appropriate representation of your company or product and how can that standard be maintained consistently across disparate platforms? How do you keep and grow an audience over time?
If questions like these are challenging to answer privately, imagine answering them publicly, in real time, in front of advocates, skeptics and competitors. Learning digital and social media marketing and branding as you go along is akin to doing an engine rebuild for the first time while the crowd at the Daytona 500 looks on.
Let’s face it: there are two types of people in the world – experts and amateurs. If you’re the latter, call the former.