Part of my job (actually a large chunk of my job...a very large chunk) is working on the community building for my current employer. I've helped build their social media plan from the ground up, written all the content for their corporate blog and managing all of our other social channels. When I began my job, I had to establish which direction we wanted to go in using social media. Our company is a primarily B2B targeted one with a very obscure business model. It's obviously a successful one being that we've been recognized by Crain's Chicago and Inc Magazine as a rapidly growing company but our actual function of the company is hard to explain in a 30 second elevator speech. When I started, I had to learn about our industry more to develop a plan. From there, I took note of what had been done, what needed to be done and goals of our company's social media reach.

I initially looked at our social efforts from a marketers point of view. The main goals (watered down) were to improve the reach of our corporate brand. After a while and reading thousands of blogs and Mashable articles, my mind got too wrapped up in the "tools." I was always looking for the next new dashboard, which new social network was coming out and how could our company jump on the next digital bandwagon. My focus was so much on the cutting edge I began to lose focus of the basic tools that were going to help us succeed in the first place. It was like a builder working on a house and wanting to see what kind of throw pillows he wanted in the house before the foundation was laid.

My focus had shifted more towards the "how" of social media and had strayed away from the "why."


It took being overwhelmed for me to recognize the err of my ways. Staying ahead of what's new is good business. Knowing what's around the corner and keeping an eye on the future makes people like us good at what we do and invaluable long term. However there's a difference between being up-to-date and obsessing over it. Losing focus of the core fundamentals of marketing while executing a social media presence has a lot of negative potential.

The most effective social media marketing isn't necessarily done by the one who is the most proficient with the newest tools. Jumping into different social networks and digital trends just to be flashy is a terrible strategy. Before beginning a digital marketing plan, a company should first ask itself "what do we want to accomplish with our marketing efforts?" Once that goal has been established, then it's time to ask "how could social media help us achieve that goal?"

I've taken a step back and looked at the digital efforts of our company as a marketer for a bit and less of a tech junkie. My new approach is taking a look at our digital marketing efforts as a marketer first. Once I've established the goals of what we want to achieve, that's when it's appropriate to unleash the tech monster within.

I'm first establishing the "why?" of social media. Once I know why, the "how" part will be much more effective. Taking time every once in a while to re-examine your current processes and see what you can do better I think is a way to be better at what we do. The same routine doesn't work every single time. There's almost always a better way.

What do you all think?