There’s an old saying: the only bad press is no press. I hope Chris Brogan believes in that because as much as I like the guy personally and think the focus behind his work is solid I’ve found myself criticizing him more and more lately.
Chris and I aren’t competitors, although I do so of the same kinds of things for my clients that Mr. Brogan does for his. I point this out because I don’t want anybody to think that my point is to cannibalize Chris Brogan, Tom Peters, Tony Robbins, or anybody else (not that I could).
What is my point? In an age where business change is all happening on social networking sites like Twitter you need to get real. You need to be honest.
And honesty doesn’t happen in platitudes.
A couple of weeks ago, Brogan wrote a piece on whack-a-mole marketing. It made a great point: when we’re all on Twitter, Facebook, and a thousand other social networking sites, using them as the tools of our marketing efforts, then much of what we say will sound like marketing.
As I said, I’ve found myself picking on Chris Brogan lately. He recently wrote about how he doesn’t actually read his Twitter stream, and while I understand the issues it’s hard to have sympathy for Chris; this is where he makes his living and he simply needs to find a way to walk his own talk.
And so do I. And so do you.
When you put out a message, marketing-focused or otherwise, you need to own it. There’s a restaurant in Westchester County New York where for about $650 (tax, tip, and wine included—hey, did you think I was completely insane? 🙂 ), you and a partner can have a meal like none other. The chef and owner is a man named Dan Barber, and if you have about twenty minutes you should watch this video of Dan:
Dan Barber walks his talk.
You may think you can’t afford to do things the way Dan Barber does them. What he’s left out of his speech is that even though the long-term result of doing things the right way is a win-win-win for everybody it’s incredibly expensive to get started doing things the right way.
That’s fine. But you can buy your eggs brown instead of bleached white the way they are in supermarkets in the United States, and the extra cost is close to zero. And when you’re on Twitter, and you’re engaging as a form of marketing you can actually be engaged.
It’s not as expensive as it might seem. Big companies employ teams of people who do nothing but watch social media sites for mentions of them and engage people who mention them, but until you’re a big enough company to justify that expense you won’t have enough mentions for it to be a problem keeping up.
And until you start, you’re falling further and further behind everyone who has.
It’s ALL whack-a-mole, isn’t it? But you can fill in the holes, too. And that’s what social media and business change are all about.