I am on a podcast binge. We recently added a mobile speaker to the office, and so far my team has been involuntarily subjected to everything from This American Life (hit or miss…) to Social Pros.

Social Pros recently hosted social media all-star, Jeffrey Hayzlett, a primetime television host of C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett, and a key influencer on social media as one of the top 10 c-suite Tweeters. Hayzlett stayed true to his rep on the podcast, speaking online similarly to how he communicates in social media: like a real person!

Here are a few points about managing social media that are worth repeating for aspiring social media brand managers or marketing team members.

1. Brands are Paralyzed by Fearing a Loss of Control They Never Had

“They do not want to truly engage and they do not want to lose control.” (16:33)

Brands are held back by a fear of losing control and of truly engaging. Hayzlett makes the point that the company never had true control over the brand in the first place. In the past, companies dictated how consumers could get in touch through specific operating hours and 1-800 customer service lines. The biggest difference today is that customers are no longer funneled through company-controlled channels. Consumers can put the word out through social media channels and brands are forced to pay attention.

“[Companies] are afraid that all of that conversation is going to embarrass or hurt them… the damn conversation has been going on before… this is nothing new. Do you think people did not complain about United Airlines or Apple or Microsoft before?! (17:40)… People by and large do not want to hurt you, they just want to be recognized and have things addressed.”

2. Social Media Tells You Exactly Who Your Customers Are

Building a social community is the key to understanding who your audience is. With mobile apps, Apple (or Google) will tell you the number of downloads your application receives, but you have no idea who those people are. Even with TV shows, you may get some demographic data from cable subscriber lists, but you never really know if people are actively watching, or just have a show on in the background. Engaging with your customers on social media provides clarification to who is truly paying attention to you and your products.

“Build your community. If I have a [social media] community of hundreds of thousands or a million people, and they make up this audience, then that’s who is watching and engaged with [your brand].” (13:20)

3. Do the Dirty Jobs


“No matter what business I am in, I always clean the bathroom. I do the dirty jobs. Or, I literally clean the bathroom because I like a clean bathroom….I do that as an example. If I clean the bathroom there is nothing that I can ask you to do that you can complain or bitch about. People know then that I am serious about this business.” (14:45)

4. You Can Not Outsource YOU


“You gotta be real; that is the cool thing about social media — it’s a real communication. The folks are expecting you.” (15:30)

A lot of executives and celebrities today outsource their social media posts. You can’t outsource your voice. It’s YOUR voice. If it’s not you, it’s not authentic. If handling your social media presence is a time-zap, use tools to streamline managing your voice through automation and listening.

5. Failing is For Losers


“Failing is for losers…People ask me, what’s your biggest failure? I say I don’t know, I haven’t done it yet.” (25:20)

Stop bragging about the times you failed like a badge of courage. Did Thomas Edison brag about the times he failed to create the lightbulb? No. He continued to make progress towards making the lightbulb until it worked, then he said that he found ten thousand ways NOT to make a lightbulb. That is not failing. You have to be willing to make mistakes but the mistakes are leading to future success.

6. Don’t Dream… Do

“Don’t dream about it, just go do it. While you are doing it you will find out that your dreams will end up coming true.” (36:05)

Listen to the podcast at Why Failing Fast is Stupid in Social Media, or visit the Convince and Convert Social Pros Podcast website.

Source for Hayzlett’s Background: http://hayzlettgroup.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Jeffrey-Hayzlett-Bio-Full-2015.pdf

source for Gif: http://giphy.com/gifs/afv-fail-americas-funniest-home-videos-p8bGyqSfnmUfu

source for Dilbert comic: http://funnysalescartoons.com/photo/dilbert-hr-outsourcing-taking and www.universaluclick.com