If you want true success with Social Media, start with “WHY”

I don’t know if you are in the same boat as I am, but I get bombarded by tons of people and companies anxious to tell me “HOW” to do social media and “WHAT” I need to have to be successful and “WHERE” I should go to get these super special services and results – but no one is asking the most important question out there when it comes to Social Media Business Strategy – “WHY”…

The only conclusion I can come to is that they are afraid of it because it is a deep and serious question and might not lead to what they are selling: the What, How and Where services.  It seems like we have moved into a world of “Fire, limited Aiming, and Ready” these days.  After being in business for over 25 years and helping companies create a solid business strategy, this is always the first question that needs to be asked. Why does social media change this paradigm?  It doesn’t and it shouldn’t.  If an organization can’t answer the “WHY” question, how accurately can they really answer the other questions of “What, Where, and How”?

Take a very simple non-business example everyone can relate to – going to the grocery store.  If we do this the normal way, we start with a shopping list (the What), and then we decide which method we should use to get there (the How) and we make a choice of which store to go to that either is most convenient or has the right products (the Where).  Pretty typical experience and process.  But where you should start is by asking the purpose of going to the store, the very reason you had to plan all the other details out (the WHY).

The Why could start with, “we need to eat and nourish our bodies.” But dig deeper for the answer.  Why do you need nourishment (besides just living)? Are you planning on training for a marathon, a hiking trip up the mountains, to have energy at work, to get fat (hopefully not but you’ll see my point here later), to feed a family, etc.  There are lots of options for Why in this simple example…

The reason the WHY is so critical is that it determines the (What, Where, How) of you accomplishing the Why.  If you were planning on being super active and running a marathon your “what” would be very different than needing nutrition for a very active family.  Shopping for work related foods would be even more different as you would prefer lower calorie and energy to keep you going without adding weight.  No one goes to the store with the Why question answer saying I want to get fat.  But we all buy foods that give us this result.  It is because we actually don’t go there with the “Why” in mind – we just dive right into the “What” is being pushed by the store to make the most profit or is a super deal of the day – not a good way to shop.

As a CEO or Business Owner or other Executive position, I would encourage you to rethink your social media efforts for a moment and ask yourself, “WHY are we even doing this?” While I believe every company should find their own way to take advantage of this incredibly powerful too, I think if you are like most executives I talk with, their “What, How, and Where” don’t match the real answer to the Why question.  Any guesses as to why Brands are being eroded every day and more and more confusion is in the mind of your customers?  Maybe it’s time to sit back and ask the one question that really matters, WHY…

2 Responses to If you want true success with Social Media, start with “WHY”

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