Social doesn’t require perfection

The New Yorker Magazine had Daniel Pink for its monthly book club chat session, which is always interesting. For those who don’t know Dan, he wrote what I consider to be the counter-argument to Friedman’s The World Is Flat with A Whole New Mind, Why Right Brainers will Rule the Future. He has a great new book – Drive, which is all about the right kind of motivation.

outrunning the bear

During the chat, Dan wrote something that stuck with me – “People are more scared of failure than of mediocrity. It should be the reverse.”

When we talk to companies about their social strategies, there is always a fear of messing up. These brands have spent years getting their digital presence refined, now these brands are starting over as they try to engage consumers. Nobody wants to be the next case study for social failure. What results is what Dan Pink described – mediocrity.

Social marketing is different than traditional marketing – its a conversation with consumers that needs to be authentic, marketing needs to offer value, brands need to listen. Shifting to this mindset takes time for brands, and the shift wont happen after a two day symposium.

No, you don’t need to have the number one social media marketing campaign in the world. Having a successful social marketing strategy is kind of like outrunning a bear while on a camping trip: you don’t need to be the world’s fastest runner, you only need to be faster than the other campers. Likewise, you don’t need to be the best social media marketing guru on the planet, just better than the other marketers out there when it comes to striking up the same conversation.

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