The Fallacy of Just-In-Time Learning: We All Know Everything (Just Google It)

The Fallacy of Just-In-Time Learning: We All Know Everything (Just Google It)

Social Media Planning and Execution to the PlanI heard it again today, “We all know everything, right?” The person asking me the question was making a point about trying to encourage businesses to put money into social media marketing.

This goes hand in hand with Lewis CK’s “Everything is amazing and nobody is happy.”

So what is going on here? The internet has brought with it the concept of just-in-time learning and with it the instant experts in everything. Need some SEO expertise? Google it. Need a social media policy statement? Google it. Need some content marketing plans? Yep, Google it.

Googling anything will bring you something. You can find fully functional keyword building tools. There are posts on just about any topic relating to marketing online. Everything is at your finger tips and everything is easy. Right?

It’s not that simple, actually. I can and do give my strategic plan summary out all the time. Uber.la is chock full of ideas and actionable tasks you can add to your routine to make you a better marketer. But it’s not so much in what to do…

  1. Establish the Goals
  2. Build the plan.
  3. Create and publish content
  4. Track all activity to the goals
  5. Optimize and alter as required.

I’m even trying to give you the roots of the plan in many cases. (How Can a Social Media Strategist Help Your Business?)

But it’s the execution that is harder than the planning.

So you’ve set up the Facebook page and the Twitter account. You’ve got Google Analytics installed on your web site and blog. And you’ve got a well-written plan for the next 8 weeks. Now what?

As a small business it’s all about who’s going to do it, how are they going to be held accountable (especially if you are the owner), and what measure of success will build momentum to continue or even expand the social media program? As a business with several members of the “marketing” team, how will the new program impact their work schedule and responsibilities? Have roles and responsibilities been clearly assigned and accepted? Will there be rewards associated with success? How will the “team” celebrate the wins and plan for the necessary failures and resets?

Often, it’s not so much about the planning as it is about the doing. And that’s where the “but nobody’s happy” part comes in. We’re all maxed out at work. Adding one simple task, however essential, is enough to cause a rebellion. And if the “task” is abstract and the results are intangible, the motivation necessary to drive buy-in and success is often short circuited by the ambiguous nature of social media success.

What is necessary is an action plan AND a process for getting the work done. And a feedback loop for sharing the results with the team, allowing for reassessment and reassignment if the roles are not well suited for the team members.

There are many ways to plan and execute social media. And often, much of my role as a social media strategist, is to help the team get personal alignment with the goals and put the process in place for the planning, publishing, socializing, and reporting to get done on a regular schedule. Sometimes it’s not easy. But once the cadence has been established and the roles and responsibilities verified by some actual production of work, the process lightens up and the team can relax into the new responsibilities and make the “social” marketing simply a part of their marketing work.

Social media is not a plan. Social media is part of a plan. And if your idea of social media is planting a Facebook and Twitter icon on your web pages and email campaigns, you might need to look into how building social media into the DNA of all of your marketing efforts can really help extend the reach and engagement on everything you do.

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

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