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Shiny Toys and Paralysis | Media AWAKEN

Shiny Toys and Paralysis

This past Tuesday, during Social Media Breakfast 13, George Grattan shared with us the extent of how Earth Watch is using social media. One thing in particular about what George said stood out for me (and I think a lot of other people in the room). He told us that Earth Watch isn’t on Twitter. Yet. He stressed the yet because he says that he understands the value of Twitter but isn’t ready to engage.

This is simultaneously commendable and worrisome.

C.C. congratulated George for not getting caught up in “shiny object” syndrome. Too often, we see brands that are using social media simply for the sake of using social media, and because it’s the “hot” thing to be doing right now.  Many a blog posts have been written about the importance of listening before engaging, of creating a strategy before jumping in with both feet. I completely agree. Only engage in social media if it makes sense for YOU.

So. Why did I find his comment worrisome?

I haven’t had the opportunity to sit down with George to discuss, so this is purely conjecture and my own reaction, thus, it is entirely possible that what I’m about to say does not in fact apply to Earth Watch, but nonetheless, I believe it does apply to many people/brands/situations.

Part of the reason he gave for not engaging yet, is he isn’t sure what to say. Not knowing exactly what to say is not a reason to not be on Twitter. This may seem like a contradiction to what I said previously about having a strategy, but I assure you, it isn’t. Strategy and tactics are two different things. Strategy is the reason you are there, the overall approach that will hopefully have a specific outcome. Tactics are the nitty gritty. If Earth Watch isn’t on Twitter yet, because they haven’t decided on a strategy, then great. They should wait. If it’s dues to tactics, then I’m worried, for their sake.

When I first joined Twitter I was often struck with paralysis of the tweet. I wanted so much to be witty and interesting and smart, for people to enjoy my tweets, for them to want to engage with me and read what I had to say. I wanted all to the point that I found myself frozen in front of my computer or cell phone in hand, having no idea what to say.  I had effectively psyched myself out of the game.  It took me a while to relax and just be myself, without the strain of worrying if my 140 characters would change the world. With paralysis (or simply not engaging) comes so much missed opportunity.  So don’t get stuck!!

What about you? Have you been struck by shiny object syndrome? Or paralysis? If yes to either, how do you navigate it?

photo credit: marcus_jb1973

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