When will they learn?
Pat Rhoads - Nonprofit Marketing & Social Media Professional
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Another 'Expert', only I'm not

When will they learn?

I came into my own professionally in the late 90's and early 2000's. It was around that time that websites were really starting to take off, and the big questions being asked by business were:
 
  1. Should my business have a website?
  2. If we do, how will we monetize it?
  3. Who will build and manage it?
  4. Where will we find the budgetary and staffing resources for this?
 
In response, many so-called 'web experts' popped up, people claiming to be proficient in building "winning" websites with programming and design backgrounds.
 
Sound familiar?
 
Over the last 3-4 years, these exact same questions have been asked by upper
management, only this time it's about social media. And yes, there has also been a remarkable flood of "social media experts" crawling out of the woodwork to 'save' these poor souls from being left behind into the dusty history books of business. 
 
Social Media has been around for several years now, And yet just when it seems to me that we've reached a tipping point where acceptance of the 'inevitability' of social media has arrived, I see yet another article or survey talking about how many managers are still unsure about the future of social media and how,or even if, it will play a role in their business.
 
When will they learn?
 
The environment people work in evolves and changes. Snail mail and telephone were the way to go for decades. But then websites came along. Then it was email (remember the ubiquitous ads for being entered into a drawing if you signed up for so-and-so's email newsletter?). Now it's social media. And hold on to your hats, those last three are moving from computers to mobile, so don't get too comfortable.
 
The things that really gets me is this: many of today's execs that are balking at social media are likely some of the same people that championed websites and email 10-15 years ago. Did they not learn then that business environments evolve and those who don't move within that die?
 
When will they learn?
 

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