Recently there was another ad club session on Social Media. These sessions are becoming better attended, no doubt due to the topic being so timely. They also tend to be intimidating to some of us/me—and I’m supposed to be one of those guys that know what he’s doing. How do people like me possibly keep up with Tumbler, Face book, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc., to the point that we’re supposed to be able to advise clients. We attend and leave these sessions thinking that we need to do a better job of keeping up with this new (relatively) communications dynamic. Whether it’s our age, lack of attention or technology overload, we/I come away with a feeling of inadequacy. But some how we/I have to get up to speed.

The car wreck comes when we think we know enough to wade into it to start a social media program for the company or a client. But we won’t get into too much trouble because we know enough to go slow and not promise too much. The train wreck comes when we latch on to a self-described social networking expert, just out of school, whom we trust the company’s communications and branding to. They know the technology, the architecture and the wiring. They know the how but don’t know the why.

It’s called Social Media. It’s a bloody medium—just like Direct Response, Broadcast, Tradeshows, or PR. Most of us wouldn’t put together a major media program without going to the media people. We’d tell the media guy what we’re selling, why somebody would buy it, and who we’re selling it to. They would find the audience, determine media consumption habits, select the medium, determine timing to take advantage of audience aperture, price it out and tell us. And then there’s that whole List Development exercise. Should you get a list broker? Probably.
Point is, too many of us are stressing over how much we don’t know about Social Media. We need to know enough to find capable people and understand what they’re telling us.

I’m picking up that I’m not as dumb as I thought—or I don’t need to be as smart as I thought I should be.