When “Eighty percent of success is showing up” just doesn’t work

This quote from Woody Allen’s movie Life and Death may be true of many of the things that happen to us in life.

Woody Allen


We have all seen many times that people or companies are able to achieve a certain amount of success just by being somewhere and having the fortitude to hang around. Unfortunately, I am quickly coming of the opinion that this is a life strategy that does not work for marketing in today’s emerging media environment.

Events move too quickly for the mediocre to wade in and hang around hoping for success. Events move too quickly to take on the role of dilettante. Companies that have been around for awhile and have a well established market presence have often taken this approach. While you may be able to muddle through today, you need to muddle quickly and with purpose!

I recently wrote a critique of a well known company’s social media strategy, a strategy that has a corporate Facebook page as the keystone. This company’s foray into the social media scene was well thought out from an approach point of view. They had the all the correct components in place, and even tied it to their newly minted corporate YouTube page and their Twitter account. This level of coverage (along with RSS feeds to such sites as delicious and digg) puts them in front of many, many consumer facing companies. Plus all of these efforts tie back to their corporate web site.

My issue with their presence comes in with their apparent execution. Dare I use another movie cliché in the same post? Well, here goes: The philosophy of “If you build it, they will come” doesn’t work in social media. They apparent treat these properties with benign neglect. Posts made by the company are largely impersonal; reader and “fan” posts go largely ignored, at least on Facebook. They may respond behind the scenes. It’s possible, as they use their Twitter account largely for customer service notifications.

The real point to take away here is that social media is meant to be just that: social! If you choose not to be social, you may well be served to devote your energies elsewhere.


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2 Responses to “When “Eighty percent of success is showing up” just doesn’t work”

  1. John Ferraro Says:

    Yes, Mark, I agree. Their management style continually states “think outside of the box”, “we have an open door policy” or some other PC phrase. Then, when the employees respond, the Companies typically put them back into the box, slam the open door, and even catagorize that employee as a potential trouble maker. Management is very resistant to change for the good of the corporation….and are not nimble enough to make quick changes.

    • mtietbohl Says:

      Hi John,
      Thank you for your comment. I completely agree with your assessment of some companiies’ personnel policies. The sad thing in the case I was specifically referring to is that this particular company is VERY customercentric. The fact that they don’t use their social media activity well is more an indictment of their ability to execute in this media than in their intent. The problem with poor execution is that it looks like bad intention.

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