The Importance of Getting Past the Social Media “Dip”
If there’s one thing I enjoy almost as much as using social media in my day-to-day communications and marketing activities, it’s speaking about these relatively new online publishing tools to friends, colleagues and, frankly, anyone else who will listen to me. I’ve always liked sharing what I know with others, teaching, training, helping others get from point A to point B – regardless of the subject. But there’s something different about social media. There’s something radically transformational about it that you just wouldn’t understand – and be able to take advantage of – till you’ve actually used it yourself for a while.
If you ask me, the key to being successful with social media is patience, perseverance and pushing past the so-called “Dip,” a difficult stretch of time (invariably the beginning) when the going can be tough and the rewards may appear few.
The Dip, of course, is the title of one of Seth Godin’s many best-selling books. On the front flap of the book, the “Dip” is referred to as “a temporary setback that you will overcome if you keep pushing.”
But the definition of the “Dip” I like best is written on page 17 of the book, where Seth describes it as “the long slog between starting and mastery.” My experience tells me that that’s just the juncture, too, where almost everyone involved in social media gets caught up in the “Dip,” where people – and brands – have to decide for themselves whether their seemingly Herculean efforts are worth it.
The fact is that social media shouldn’t ever be looked at as a fast track or short cut to success. Mastering social media requires a long-term, strategic investment that needs to be looked at as part and parcel of almost everything else you do as an organization, not as a quick fix or panacea for an inability to find common ground with your constituency in the first place.
If you can get through to the other side of the social media “dip,” you’ll have developed deep, long-lasting, mutually-beneficial relationships with people and organizations you may not have connected with otherwise.
All of which I plan to address this Thursday, July 30, in a one-hour webinar, “Get Started in Social Media,” for the Printing Industries of New England (PINE). I’ll speak about why social media is so powerful, what social media tools are most popular – including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and blogs – and how they can be used by business people to position themselves as knowledge leaders, community builders and people their customers, clients, colleagues and constituents will want to faithfully follow.
And, as the title of the webinar implies, that’s just for starters. On Tuesday, August 25, I’ll take the topic to the next level in an in-depth, half-day workshop for PINE in which I’ll help those in attendance realize what it takes to get past the inevitable social media “dip.”