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Defibrillator? How to Prevent a Social Media Heart Attack

Aug 4, 2008
Per Wikipedia "Defibrillation is the definitive treatment for the life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. Defibrillation consists of delivering a therapeutic dose of electrical energy to the affected heart with a device called a defibrillator. This depolarizes a critical mass of the heart muscle, terminates the arrhythmia, and allows normal sinus rhythm to be reestablished by the body's natural pacemaker, in the sinoatrial node of the heart."

I was recently thinking on this topic. Why is social media such a hard thing to wrap your business head around? Probably because we use so many terms trying to shorten our ideas and concepts into statements that area not only hard to understand, but as non-sexy as you can get.

Like good health, social media tends to push novices into a dark spot where they do not understand the lingo and vocabulary. By pushing them into unfamiliar territory, they retreat and ignore the basics of getting healthy to improve their life.

If you are trying to understand social media, you are probably realizing that it has more in common with our body than you could know. Unfortunately many of us treat our bodies very poorly.

Take consistency as a point. Like a strong heart, a social media campaign has a regular beat to it. Unfortunately social media tends to be comparative to sitting in the bleachers of your favorite sports game and being trampled by the star player as they make a dive for the game point. One minute you are at rest, the next minute you are subconsciously dealing with information overload.

Those instant "ups and downs" created by communities reacting to your online presence (or lack there of) can be mitigated by having a healthy check-up and having a regiment of flexing your social media muscles.
Too many companies simply rely on one aspect of an online presence to mitigate one freak instance from doing irreparable damage. Sure you may have a website, but do you YouTube, Linkedin, Twitter, or simply converse with your own clients?

Having a presence on different services may not impact your brand today, but it can help mitigate and defend your brand tomorrow. There are three parts of understanding why having a healthy social media and online brand is good for you:

1. A strong body stays healthier, longer. If you keep fit, your body (aka personal brand) will take care of you in some rather tough situations. You can jump higher, move faster, and manage to turn heads a little more often.

2. Healthy brands, like healthy people, have dedicated friends. While a presence on Twitter or Facebook may not work for every company, having an established group of supporters and evangelists is in your best interests. If you had a heart attack in real life, do you really want to experience it alone: or do you want to be surrounded by a community of trusted supporters who know the right person to call?

3. Knowing the right person. Regardless of how good your personal network is; the "network effect" multiplies the number of people available on a ten-fold level. (I.E. Your 100 contacts give you access to 1000.) Would you rather turn to your immediate personal contacts and rely on one of them to perform open heart surgery on you, or open up the search to a few connections away?

After thinking about it- take a moment to browse more information on social media and give yourself an education on terms used and steps that will flex your social media brain. Creating an effective strategy, committing to moving through the steps, and keeping a learning mindset will help grow your professional goals online. Without your planning and commitment to the end goal of having a healthier business brand, you may find yourself having a sudden cardiac problem.
About the Author
Barry Hurd is President, author, speaker, and voice of 123 Social Media - The Defibrillator for Corporate Marketing. He has a history of over fifteen years working on numerous innovative efforts with online business models: past projects have included NIKE, REI, TMP Worldwide, Monster.com, Verizon Superpages, Intuit, and RIS Media.
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