This week has been a rough week... lots of stress, lots of change, and mostly a lot of progress. At 42 years old, I'm pretty set in my ways but I had an event this week that really hit hard.
I've been saying for quite a while that social media is an incredible amplifier - but that companies who were already socially active are the real ones that leverage and gain from social media. Companies that aren't social, or are even anti-social, often don't ever realize an investment in social media. Why would they? They've never attained marketshare or leadership through being social. As a result - as a new media agency, we push some companies into social media... but others we push into other promotional strategies. Social media is not for everyone (sorry gurus!).
The same goes for people. In the last decade, I believe I've developed a priceless network of companies, people, and resources. I'll call it my treasure. I've worked hard at building my treasure. I didn't buy it. It's taken years and years of constant pressure. When I backed off, it was buried. When I worked hard at at it, I reclaimed my treasure an inch at a time. With the amount of time and effort I've put into to building my treasure, I cherish it. It's priceless. My company was born as a result of my treasure.
I don't keep my treasure to myself, though. You'll see this with the blog, the company, the office, the tools, the book, the events, the applications, the radio show... all of them are pretty open to whomever would like to take advantage of them. While I protect my treasure, but I'd never hide it and keep it to myself. Why would I? I want others to benefit from my treasure, too.
But some won't. What I've come to realize is that I value my treasure and put it in such high regard because I know how to use it. I see it's potential and know how it's changed my life. I know that it will provide for me and for whomever can leverage it properly. If someone showed me their garage with tens of thousands of dollars' worth of tools, I'd probably nod my head and keep walking. If they were a mechanic, though, they'd understand that that toolbox could provide them with a career and a lifetime of work. I can't use it, so I don't value it.
When someone recognizes the value of my treasure, it's awesome. I found out this week that some simply can't, though! Keep that in mind as you speak to companies about social media and online marketing. If companies are growing and prosperous without them, they can't realize the value that they can bring. You'll need to prove it to them. And you may be unable to.
Also keep it in mind with people... some people will think your network and your social interaction isn't an investment, they'll think you're wasting your time. It may sound obvious, but we only value the tools that we know we can use.
This post was written by Douglas Karr
Douglas Karr is the founder of The Marketing Technology Blog. Doug is President and CEO of DK New Media, an online marketing company specializing in social media, blogging and search engine optimization.