10 Truths About Social Media: Remix

  1. Social media isn't free. It is cost-efficient when planned for and managed appropriately, and like any investment that comes with a price, what you will yield is proportionate to what you invest.
  2. The tools are merely a means to an end.  What you do with the tools, and how you integrate them to improve the base business are what  really matters.
  3. "Trust" and "Influence" are relative and fluid. However, they generally belong to people that consistently deliver positive, remarkable experiences -- across channels and over time. Deliver on every promise, exhibit high level of ownership / stewardship and be a "mensch." Do this, and being an influential trust agent will come naturally.
  4. "Authenticity" is a terribly abused word. There are plenty of authentically bad companies and products out there. Strive to be authentically good and constantly improving and you'll win.
  5. "Transparency" is an illusion. While conversational media increases visibility into your operations, you can maintain enough opacity to protect your sensitive underbelly.
  6. Senior engagement is critical.  If your senior leadership wants to relegate social media to an intern, agency or middle manager, resisting the notion that these tools may transform the enterprise, consider changing jobs.
  7. The tools require a high level of proactive readiness. Engage in these channels and you're a friend, confidant, real-time service agent, facilitator, guide and publisher. Be prepared in advance. Get the right hooks in place and the right teams involved. Establish policies and processes that expedite resolution and response.
  8. Results must be measured against a solid plan. If you are not using conversational media to drive some specific and measurable objectives you are probably wasting your time
  9. Success is (still) about the Customer Experience.  If holistically, your base-level customer experience stinks, using social media tools probably won't help much. That's why this blog is dedicated to CX rather than preaching the virtues of any one specific channel.
  10. Good help is golden. Strategists who can't execute are as dangerous as "one-trick ponies who only know how to use a single tool ... or generalists who speak at conferences a lot but don't actually deliver any work!  Find resources that can develop a solid strategic plan, execute, help your organization prepare, educate and stand by to help, if needed. Look for dirt under the fingernails... and don't be social media sharkbait!  
Add your truths!  I'm all ears!


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I’m Leigh Durst, a 20 year veteran in business, operations, customer strategy, ecommerce, digital & social media and marketing. Simply put, I’m a strategist that helps companies (start-up to blue chip) achieve business shift, create more compelling online and offline experiences. I also write, speak and teach about experience design and next-generation business. I’m a futurist, visionary, strategist, doer and connector with a passion for people and helping others. When I’m not on the road, you’ll find me in the San Francisco bay area, working, beaching it and hanging out with my family and dog.


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