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The answer is simple – BE SOCIAL. Now of course if you get that part, you won’t need my company’s help or to even finish this article series. For the rest of us that realize we are learning every day no matter how successful or experienced we are – read on…

It’s 2010 and while it may be old hat for some, most companies had technologies such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn on their radar at least from last year (other companies realized the revolution started in 1984).  Wait it out, be safe, see what others in their industry are doing (and if it works…)  Without realizing what goes on behind the scenes and viewing only the tweets and status updates, many are tempted to jump right in.  Show progress, DO SOMETHING.  Great from a personal perspective, but it doesn’t fare as well professionally.

After working in this field for well over a decade, we are finding patterns in the resistance, adoption, and implementation to social media.  Understandably, not all companies are set up to be ultra-progressive and on the bleeding edge of technology.  The thing is, the curve is starting to see the crest, and holding out any longer puts you on the dark side of the slope.  Even a 70 year-old brand can adapt.  Hell, a 360 year old company can adapt.  If they can – YOU can.

There is no more ‘wait and see’ in this economy.  Results are proven, so long as you are not expecting social media to be a direct line to your company’s bottom line.  If you treat social media as a telephone, and not a sales database, you will see results.

Becoming engaged in social media doesn’t mean a mad rush to smash on the ‘publish’ button and produce content.  A good part of the ‘need’ to get on social media platforms is a result of several factors, in a very predictable course.  With each step, there are traps to avoid and strategies to accomplish goals.  The dangerous part?  The process that leads to success and the (multiple) ones that lead to failure look very similar to the untrained eye.  Trying to tackle social media endeavors using the same tried and true tactics and initiative you’ve used in the past will FAIL.  In the past being active looked like productivity.  Activity = Progress.  Not so anymore.  Sales people thought that the way to make more sales was to call more people.  The game has changed, and fact is, you need to learn the new rules (or make your own) – but it is NOT the same as it’s always been.

Over the next few days the Purple Stripe team will be publishing the following articles related to the different steps involved in developing a social strategy.

A few additional topics may surface as well.  We welcome your comments and thoughts, and hope that over the next week we can help you find some soft spots in your social media plans and set the course straight!

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This article is part of a series on social media success from Purple Stripe Productions.