I spent the last two days at the MarketingProfs B2B Forum in Boston. As always, it was an excellent event filled with great information and smart people willing to share their experience and expertise. In addition to leading a workshop and participating in the final wrap-up panel, I volunteered to do some “one-on-one therapy” sessions with conference attendees on the topic of enterprise social media structure, policies and integration (you know, the stuff we write about in The Executive’s Guide to Enterprise Social Media Strategy).
I spoke with half a dozen folks and was happily surprised at how far along they were. A year ago, many of the conversations around enterprise social media were pretty basic: Who should “own” it? Do we need to be on Facebook? But these folks came to me with very specific questions about staffing, generating and sharing content, tracking results and other nuts-and-bolts stuff. It was great fun.
I also spoke with several very smart folks who I really couldn’t help very much. Everything I suggested, they’d tried. They were intelligent and adventurous and read the right blogs and the right books and went to the right conferences. We struggled to come up with ideas to address their particular problems. In the end it came down, essentially, to “I work for a company (or a boss) that just doesn’t care or get it no matter how much I show them what our competitors are doing, or what the industry best practices are, or the conversations about our brand we’re ignoring.”
What do you do with that?
I know a lot of people in the enterprise social media world who have pushed similar boulders up similar hills and had great successes. They are people whose names you may know, and a lot are mentioned in our book, like Zena Weist and Bert DuMars and Nichole Kelly and Chris Moody and Lee Aase. (And some of them have changed jobs since the book was published.)
If you’re the person inside your company who has been pushing the social media boulder up the hill, I want you to know three things:
1. There aren’t many people like you.
2. Eventually the people standing in your way will know you’re right.
3. You are more valuable now than you’ve ever been.
It’s up to you, obviously, to decide how much boulder-pushing you want to do. Maybe you like your boulder. Maybe you like your hill. Maybe I’ve taken this analogy too far.
But if you’re beating your head against a wall and feeling like you’re failing, I’ll bet you’re not. You may think you’re doing it wrong, and I promise you, you’re not. If you’re thinking you could finally break through if you just worked harder or smarter or longer, that’s probably not it, either.
Maybe it’s just time to look for a new job.
image by Krikit