My Social Media Paradox

There is a battle that rages in my head…

It is the conflict between these two realities:

The frustration I feel that more people (including some very close to me) simply don’t understand the social web (and all that that implies)…nor how to use it to build relationships with people, relationships that can lead to new business opportunities…

…versus the competitor in me secretly hoping that people (read: competition) won’t understand the social web, so that clients I am helping continue to hold a competitive advantage in their market.

Does this make me an evil man?

Am I really alone in this? Now obviously, if you are a regular reader of this blog, you know I do my best to share what I know with my audience. But…

I have to be honest, I sometimes worry that I am handing my client’s competition the very bullets to fire back at us…

But here’s the thing — I’ve learned that most small businesses who initially “embrace” the concept behind the social web don’t necessarily fully adapt it, wholeheartedly believe in it, and certainly most don’t execute on it…

And this certainly applies to my client’s competition…

Why does this lack of adoption happen? I think most don’t dive in fully for two simple reasons. It requires work (which they aren’t willing to do) and they don’t see immediate, overnight results (it takes time for the seeds to grow).

In fact, the battle with my clients and prospects isn’t necessarily to convince them the social web is worth adopting. Rather, my toughest challenge is getting them to execute once they agree with its merits.

And what I know is this: Most of the competition in my client’s varied markets are fighting the same demons. So…my victories come in helping my clients get over their commitment (belief and time) issues with the social web. And if we accomplish this, the social web can – WILL – directly and positively impact their business.

I was on a conference call with a client last week, a client who is launching a new company blog. Someone on the team asked if the “competition” is doing their own blogging. My reaction was that I hope not. That’s good for us if they are not. But I fear the question was asked in the context of “if they aren’t, then why are we?” I hope this isn’t the case…

There are tons of blogs out there, but still not a lot of wide adaptation of blogging into serious business and organizational marketing and business development strategies. Said another way, there are still a lot of trails to be blazed.

I will go on educating my audience because I believe a rising tide lifts all ships. I will go on helping my clients get committed to this process. And yes, I will secretly hope that my client’s competition continue to battle their adoption demons. For a long, long time…

What do you think? What about you? Do you battle this secret paradox too?

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[cartoon by @gapingvoid]

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you Todd – it seems a bit of an uphill battle. Indeed I do as well and I have this conversation with people over and over. I think there is a lack of understanding about the social web around the most intrinsic of things – SOCIOLOGY. While this is a technology, it is a tool of fast connection displaying human personality and behavior at a mass scale.

    As I like to say – “if you have poor social skills, social media just lets the whole world know it”

  • Todd Schnick

    yes, you are right, and that is a another key reason why people/organizations do not adopt. they are afraid that their weaknesses will come more readily to light…

    and what a shame that is. because it most cases, they are wrong. you know?

  • Regina

    Interesting view of competition and scarcity of clients who need social media skills. I hope you keep sharing great quality in massive quantity. You haven’t reached ME yet! Whatcha got that can help me?

  • Todd Schnick

    i’ve got a steady stream of conversation about the power of using the social web as a means to building powerful, and meaningful, relationships that can help land new business opportunities…

    glad i finally reached ya! ;-)