27 things to know before you work in social media

Recently, a client shared an article with me from www.ragan.com about the “27 things to know before you work in social media.”  I thought our fellow social media peeps would get a kick out of this list.  I especially appreciate #3 and #25.   What rings true for you?  Do you have anything to add?

1. When you start, no one will believe you know anything useful—and you might not.

2. You’ll have to be multi-lingual, speaking and translating between two vocabularies—that of the social media culture and that of the people who’ve little to no experience with it.

3. You’ll have to figure out how to measure something that traditionally hasn’t been measured and to explain why those measurements are valid. You’ll need goals, tools to match the goals, and reasonable expectations. Without history, that’s hard to do.

4. Some folks will believe impressions, eyeballs, and broadcasts are the best use of the tools.

5. Although you were enlisted to bring about change, the very folks who enlisted you might be the most uncomfortable with changing. (One friend advises you might take care if you’re hired to be the “heretic,” because heretic stories never end well for the heretic.)

6. Some people won’t be able to see the value of making relationships to grow business and keep satisfied customers—even though relationships have fueled businesses (based on decades of trade shows and sales calls).

7. When you do social business well, it looks easy. But it’s not, and no one will care how hard it was.

8. Some people will misread safe responses as dangerous ones and dangerous responses as safe ones. Understanding the culture of social business online is a learning curve that most folks acquire incrementally.

9. You’ll find most folks have a different sense of urgency, which will change as they experience the speed of the Internet.

10. Social media work isn’t glamorous.

11. The pay for the hours worked is even less glamorous.

12. If you build a strong public presence, your mistakes will be public, too.

13. If you build a strong public presence, some folks will think you are all about making yourself “Internet famous”—and that might be true.

14. Some folks will be confused when you promote what others are doing; you might be accused of “going native.”

15. You’ll need to personally invest and be detached simultaneously.

16. You’ll be critiqued by people who don’t know how to say things nicely.

17. You’ll be critiqued by people who don’t know what they’re talking about.

18. You won’t have resources to bring all of your strongest ideas to life.

19. Some of your ideas will be out-of-sync, out-of-reach, or out-of-date before you have them.

20. Only other social media advocates will “get” what you do; you won’t be able to explain the thrill of a retweet from someone you admire.

21. Your significant other may think you care more about your online friends than your offline friends—and your significant other might be right.

22. Being social online means you’ll have to be social offline, too.

23. No one is good at every aspect of social media interaction.

24. No matter where you sit, stand, listen, or talk, you’ll have to change your point of view to see and respond to the whole picture.

25. The second you forget that social media is about the people, the people will find a way to remind you—sometimes they’ll remind you even when you haven’t forgotten.

26. Each day will require that you focus fiercely, that you trust yourself so that people can trust you, and that you learn more things faster than ever before.

27. If you’re the person introducing social media to a business, you face the challenge of getting people to imagine the possibilities of something they’ve never experienced. And here’s the one thing that makes those 27 worth it.

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