I recently had the pleasure of meeting and recording a radio show with lawyer, Jeffrey O'Brien.
After we finished the show, we were talking, and I told Jeffrey that I envy him.
I bet when he meets people for the first time, the conversation goes something like this...
(They might not really think it's cool, but in the Midwest we'd never admit that to someone's face.)
This is what happens when I meet people...
The problem here isn't that Jeffrey has a cooler job than I do, (cause my job is pretty stinkin' cool) it's that Jeffrey's job is one that people know you need extensive training to be able to do.
People don't practice law as a hobby.
Social media, on the other hand, is something that a lot of people do in their free time. And, if they do it a lot and have been doing it for a while, in their brains, it has likely become synonymous with other activities they do that don't require a deep degree of education or specialization.
You post something. Someone responds. You comment back. What else is there to "learn?"
For those of us who work in social media, this means that we often hear the same refrain when we approach businesses to talk about their social plans:
"No thanks, we've got this covered."
And, all of these things are usually true...to a certain extent.
The problem isn't that people have no resources at their disposal to do their own social media. The problem is that people have no idea what lies beyond what their resources are able to support them in doing.
In short, people don't know what they don't know.
We've seen this phenomenon happen before, of course...
It stands to reason, then, that the adoption of social media into regular business communication has made everyone a social media consultant.
So, what can we learn from history here?
In the examples listed above, people eventually realized that if you want a striking logo, a well-built site, or compelling presentation deck, you should hire someone who does those things for a living to help you make one.
Problem is, that turnaround in thinking often took years -- and in some circles, never occurred at all.
Is this the same road we're on with social media?
I think, likely, (and sadly) yes. These things take time to evolve.
But I also think someday people WILL know what they don't know about social media, and instead of feeling covered, that knowledge might make them feel a little naked.
And when that happens, we'll be over here waiting to help them...holding a blanket.
I’m a consultant, strategist, author, educator, and speaker with more than 30 years of professional experience. I’m passionately curious, fairly sassy, kinda dorky and seriously good at what I do.