Earlier this week I was reviewing the social media efforts from three big competitors for a client of mine which happens to be a brand new company launching into a 25 year old niche software industry. It was interesting to see that all three of the big competitors, some of which are as old as this niche industry itself, were active in social media. One was using Twitter really well while another was getting great customer service use out of its Facebook page.
I could tell that at least one of the companies had a social media strategy they were trying to implement while the other two had a bit more “make it up as we go” sort of approach. In all three cases they were doing a few things well and a few things poorly. It was as if each company decided they liked one particular tool better than the rest and therefore put more energy there. As a result, the areas where each company was putting its energy was precisely where they were seeing some positive activity with customers.
How important is effort and will?
The question, then, for us as people interested in social media marketing, is this: to what degree does sheer effort play in social media success? I could argue that two of the companies I reviewed didn’t know what they were doing yet they were seeing some benefit from their efforts.
The big takeaway from evaluating these companies was that there’s a lot to be said for sheer effort. Consistent and regular social media activity from all of these companies seemed to be yielding some fruit for them even when their strategies were loose at best.
So is effort more important than strategy?
What we can learn from this is that true social media success is a combination of good strategy and consistent effort but even bad strategy or no strategy with consistent effort may still yield results. It’s like exercising incorrectly. Sure, you might not have the most efficient workout possible and sure, you are more prone to injury if you don’t know what you’re doing, but consistent exercise will still lead to some weight loss and improved health.
I know I get stuck thinking about social media strategy so much that I often forget to emphasize the sheer effort that goes into making it work well. The more I think about it, the more I remember that effort alone may very well be the single biggest factor toward social media success. When you combine effort with a great strategy then you really become dangerous.