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You CAN’T Fail In Social Media

by James Ball on November 12, 2009


It may be a novel thought, but it’s true: You CAN’T fail in social media. Sure, there are many who will explain what it is to be a failure in social media. They’ll tell you that you don’t add up. They may even show you nifty charts and diagrams to prove their point. Then, I’m almost positive that they will offer to show you a better way. It’s even more common for a person involved on the social web to consider that they are themselves a failure. What, with all the gurus and folks out there who are doing it right, how will we ever compete with all of this? A simple answer, DON’T.

Social media isn’t about winning or losing. It’s also not “you vs. the world” either. It’s about getting engaged with people. That’s it, nothing more. If you are out there, getting involved at all, if you’re building relationships and engaging in conversations…if you are participating, you WIN. We all feel like we can get better at this, that’s NOT a novel thought. True, we can set all sorts of goals and make plans, and we may actually achieve some level of success and attainment in this. Or, we don’t meet our goals and we’re forced to re-think our plan. Re-group and enjoy more success and better results next time. Excellent!  Just don’t make failure (the word OR the concept) a part of the process.

Why must we keep on, why is failure not an option to be accepted here? Because social media is a means to an end, not the ends itself as many believe. You’d think by listening to some folks, that unless we’re all at guru status by 2011 we’ll be out of business, begging bread someplace. Let’s not panic, shall we? I can’t tell you for certain what’s coming down the pike next. I will assert that social media and all of its many tools and applications, the “platform” itself are simply a prelude to what’s next. This is precisely why I think it so important that we all be involved. We’re all just passing through this; there is not an end to it, no finish line at all. We’ll all be doing business next year. Watch and see.

There’s nothing wrong with following a mentor, or looking hard for solutions and best practices in all of this. By all means, find a trustworthy thought leader who gets results and follow along. Adjust how you do things based on good advice and your own results. Just don’t let anybody call you a failure and tell you that you have to do things their way.

That’s all the Kumbaya I have for today. Give me some of your take on this in the comments if you would.

Charity Hisle November 12, 2009 at 2:50 pm

Using social media is a process… we all start out somewhat confused! The key is to learn from mistakes (yeah, we've all made 'em) and make adjustments. Very motivational piece James! Keep up the good work, you're doing GREAT!

Kathy Drewien November 12, 2009 at 3:43 pm

I spent a few days mentoring Twitter newbies and learned a LOT from them! The fear of being followed by people they don't know was paralyzing. "Oh, so and so is following me. I don't know who that is. Do you?" Kathy you retweeted the link to this article, "Do you know who this is?"

It seems folks are comfortable within Facebook because the norm is connecting with known friends and family. Twitter, on the other hand, is one giant convention center. (Ooo, ooo, new post idea!)

@indepthwraps November 12, 2009 at 4:40 pm

Nicely put, James! I would call myself a beginning to intermediate social media user (depending on who you ask :)) – not a newbie, but far from being an expert (and that's not a long-term strategy of mine, so I'm good with that!). I sooo needed this encouragement. I get frustrated because I'm not engaged enough online…but that's because I'm busy engaging offline. There's still life out there to live outside this "box", right?

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