My seven-year-old daughter was reading “There Was A Coyote Who Swallowed a Flea” to me the other night.
In case you’re too busy reading Seth Godin’s latest book to be aware of this children’s favorite, it’s basically about a coyote who swallows a flea. He then swallows a lizard to take care of the flea problem. Then a snake to take care of the lizard. And so on and so on. He swallows larger and larger items to take care of the previous thing he swallowed until he swallows the moon then burps.
As my daughter read this book to me, I noticed that many businesses behave much like the coyote when it comes to social media.
First, they hear that social media is hot and what they need to stay viable and compete in their industry. Then they swallow down the social media bug. To take care of the bug, they may sign up for a Twitter account. Then they realize they need followers to help out the Twitter account. Then they need a blog to publish useful information for all those yearning followers. Then they want a better website design to look more credible so more people will want to read their blog. Then they need someone to write for the blog. Then someone to respond to readers who comment on Twitter and the blog. And so on and so on.
Before long, they’ve swallowed bigger and bigger pieces of social media. They’re overwhelmed. They forget why the social media bug was tasty in the first place. Many eventually explode or quit.
So what’s the moral of the story? Don’t swallow the social media bug?
No. It’s clear that social media is valuable for business.
The lesson is to have a social media plan.
Know what social media is and what social media isn’t.
For social media to add value to your business, customers, and prospects, you need goals and a plan for achieving those goals.
Take it from the coyote and don’t bite off more than you can chew!
To help you get started on the right foot with social media for your business, ifPeople has shared a great presentation about how to develop a social media strategy.