Larry Brauner“The worst social media marketing advice is just jump in,” said Thomas Hoehn at the Search and Social event yesterday.

As Director, Interactive Marketing and Convergence Media, Tom helped Eastman Kodak overhaul its image over the past four years using the Kodak blog, A Thousand Words, and other social media.


Thomas HoehnAdvising some 50 to 75 communications and marketing professionals who were attending the event, Tom insisted that planning must come first, and that joining social sites was somewhere around step four.

I personally think it’s unfortunate that bad social media marketing advice is so readily available, and that too many marketers jump into social media marketing without adequate planning or forethought.


“Distributed authorship,” to use Tom’s phrase, has enabled Chief Blogger Jenny Cisney and her team at Kodak to post each and every day without interruption. You must agree, that’s quite an accomplishment! Consistent blogging and social media engagement have kept the conversation going, making every moment a Kodak Moment.

Quoting Tom one last time, “The worst people can say about you is nothing!”

Please do me a favor and say something. ;-)


3 Responses to “The Worst Social Media Marketing Advice”

  1. Jim Baran on July 17th, 2010 3:17 pm

    Critical topic. Thanks for sharing Larry.

    Tom’s comments are spot on.

    I’ve noticed a conflict of integrating social technology in business. Is a SM business strategy in the plan or is it in its execution?

    It’s seems many businesses believe it’s the latter. The Nike tag-line “just do it” isn’t always best way – at least in the context of transformation.

    Our business works in the human business of continuous improvement (Lean thinking) space. One of our services is building CI communities inside businesses. Communities are hosted on a private technology platform. Note how I avoided the terms “social media” or “Web 2.0”?

    Social technology is up against strong biases such as transparency, loafing (water cooler chit-chat & mindless entertainment), confidentiality, and trust. All are resolvable with smart use of social technology, but bias around its use is already formed. That should be part I of your plan, softening bias.

    Our early discovery is that the evolution and progress of social technology is often halted at the mention of popular terms involving the word “social”.

    We overcome this through a planned quality cycle referred to by Dr. W. Edwards Deming as PDCA – later PDSA. Deming’s interpretation of the Shewart “quality” cycle.

    Wikipedia PDCA definition: In social business media sense, PDSA is the more appropriate reference. The “S” (Study) replaces “C” (Check).

    Tom Hoehn’s words validate “study” as mission critical in understanding your market and designing a plan to meet customer need – in many cases when the need hasn’t yet been fully realized (which is often the case in implementing SM in business).

    I find too many folks embrace social technology as a rocket launcher. The energy is good but the results can lead to rework or disaster.

    In our world, before we create and implement a private community inside a business, we conduct a on-site diagnostic with the primary stakeholders. Not just to get buy-in (important) but to identify gaps in connectivity between the stakeholders.

    Following the stakeholder diagnostic, we conduct a workshop to close connectivity gaps and identify daily improvement actions. At this point, we’re at the “A” or action stage. All move forward with the objective of connectivity and active daily participation. So, from the start, our goal is connectivity and active daily participation.

    “Just do it” or “once in a while” doesn’t really work well with social technology.

    Tom is correct …”too many marketers jump into social media marketing without adequate planning or forethought. So, to Tom’s points, there are three steps involved before you “Act”. An additional benefit of establishing a disciplined structure around your plan is it forces you to keep an open mind to other thought processes that may be in conflict with your plan or support its evolution.

    My comments refer to building private social communities inside businesses, not so much on marketing with SM. In some way, I hope my remarks are somewhat relevant. My view is that in social learning, we’re all on the same team even though we play in different stadiums. I’m interested in what others are learning and doing with integrating social technology inside businesses.

    Jim Baran
    Owner, Value Stream Leadership

  2. Property Norwich on August 6th, 2010 9:04 am

    I enjoyed reading your information and I now have some really good tips I can use. Keep up the good work!

    Oh, and just in case you were wondering, this is not an automated system, I am a real person with a real business, who always looks to others for advice, as well as offering his own. Thanks. Chris

  3. Dave Saunders on August 20th, 2010 2:04 pm

    Planning and understanding are critical elements but at some point you have to get off your butt and try something. While just jumping in is not advisable, over-analyzing your social media approach can be just as damaging to your results. The same is true in a “real” social setting, right? You can read all the books you like for how to start a conversation, but at some point you need to walk up to someone and say “hi.”

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