I remember the late Bill Walsh, former coach and executive with the San Francisco 49ers talking about the latest offenses in the NFL. He said, people have the "West Coast Offense, the Run-And-Shoot, the Power-I, but at the end of the day, it's the team that blocks and tackles better that always wins. Those fancy offenses are great, but you must block and tackle better than the opposing team to win, regardless of your fancy offense."
I try and keep this in mind as I hear businesses and their plans for social networking. Sometimes, I think they forget about blocking and tackling. Now, I'm not saying don't get on Facebook and Twitter and all of that. I'm involved in them. I'm just saying that your business success will come down to business basics and fundamentals. Facebook isn't going to help you get those.
In the early-to mid-1990s there were local businesses that slashed marketing budgets because with the advent of the Internet, they could pull clients in from all over the world, or so they were told. They were told they didn't need the old ways of branding, marketing and prospecting. One photographer stopped marketing and spent thousands on a website. Well, so did thousands of other photographers. The business never came.
For most businesses, the Internet has been an invaluable resource and efficiency tool. However, if you had problems selling your services before the web, you usually had the same problems after. It wasn't a cure all by any means.
It's blocking and tackling. The hype about social networking is great and it is here to stay. Just don't ignore what it takes to be successful. Sometimes, when times are tough, we search for the quick fix. Maybe we should revisit the fundamentals of business.
-Ron Ameln, SBM