In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins wrote that great companies never saw or tried to use technology as the way to greatness. Rather, technology was an accelerant, but only if the company had built a sound foundation, knew their strengths and what they stood for. Collins’ called the concept of knowing one’s business purpose and mission and sticking to it the Hedgehog Concept. Hedgehogs plod along a steady course, never straying or getting distracted. See my previous post on this, B2B Marketers: Are You a Hedgehog or a Fox?
So, I know, being foxy seems so much more appealing than being a hedgehog. But, truly, technology based on an unsure or shaky foundation is what trips up foxes. Wanting social media to be that silver bullet, too many businesses have jumped on board, only to fail. That is why Jason Alba wrote the book, I Am on LinkedIn, Now What? That is why the blog abandonment rate is over 90%. That is why, after stumbling around Twitter for a while, many delete their profiles.
Start any marketing program with a solid foundation and understanding of what your business is now and what you want to be. Then, plan your marketing strategically on top of that foundation. Choose technology and programs that will accelerate your strategy and be practical in your implementation. Social media works, but only if you do it right.