Lipstick on a pig

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You’ve heard it before, right? You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. I was looking at a website for a company recently who wanted me to advise them on their website and their social media outreach. In their own minds, they were doing pretty good. In my mind, it was lipstick on a pig.

Don’t get me wrong, they are well-intentioned. They really do want to make a difference in social media, but their efforts were simply misplaced. And they thought they were doing well, which is probably the bigger issue. They thought that since they had a Facebook page and they put the Facebook logo on their website homepage that they were ‘involved in social media’. I guess in same sense, I could visit a farm and be ‘involved in farming’.

Having a Facebook page isn’t enough. Signing up for Twitter isn’t enough. And uploading a YouTube video 2 years ago doesn’t cut it. Yes, in my opinion you need to be involved in all those things, and more. But making a difference in social media isn’t just about ‘being there’. Yes, you must be there. But if you hope to make a difference then you need to concentrate on what you do when you are there.

Be authentic. Be transparent. Be proactive. Be caring. Listen. Respond. Help. Then listen some more.

Don’t be accused of putting lipstick on a pig. Don’t be that guy who everyone rolls their eyes at because you are the only one who doesn’t see it. Social media effectiveness takes time and lots of effort and goes way beyond putting logos on your website.

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