I’m a Frasier fan. There are many situations in life, business, and play that can be explained with a clip (or quip) from this cleverly written show, and this post is one such occasion.
In season 7, episode 11’s “The Fight Before Christmas“, Frasier decides to throw a fantastic Christmas party, and even goes so far as to invite his arch-nemesis, Cam Winston, who lives in the apartment above him. Cam is forever one-step ahead of Frasier, and generally just out-does him on all fronts.
Through the episode, Frasier frets and worries, and crafts this totally over-the-top, Dickens-esque affair … And nobody shows. Why not? Because Cam Winston throws a better, bigger bash next door, and even has fun signage in the condo lobby to make sure people know precisely where to go. Frasier doesn’t stand a chance. But his appetizers sure look tasty.
Lots of organizations approach their launch into social spaces like Frasier.
They build a Facebook page, or a Twitter, or a YouTube; hang the streamers, mix the punch, stand eagerly at the door and wait … and wonder why hundreds of happy guests don’t bash down the door to join the fun. They often are quick to notice all the crowds hanging out in other social places, and typically grumble about why that traffic doesn’t move their direction. In essence, they forget that they are throwing a party, and they forget that to really throw a memorable bash, you’ve first got to have a relationship with the folks on your guest list.
They forget to be social in social spaces.
That’s a real problem. And after a few months of this, the group page or feed or blog sort of languishes and folks throw up their hands, claim that social media is a total fad; hire a consultant and hope that works. Or they give up. And as Brian Solis tells us in Engage, that’s not a solution; it’s not even an option. Engage or die, people. It’s that simple.
When clients start to talk about social, we certainly discuss and carefully select the proper platforms for them to use. And we definitely work on making pretty snazzy looking pages, skins, and backgrounds. We craft a content plan. But we also spend a heck of a lot of time deciding where the party people are already hanging out, and we get ourselves on that guest list; we start to be social with them – meaningfully and in relevant, non-automonton ways. We listen. We learn. We figure out how to be a valued guest that people enjoy, and guess what? When we invite them to our bash, they make a point to be there.
Simple? Not really. It takes work to identify those social media get-togethers that are worth your time and attention. It takes hard work to really know the people who are frequenting your social pages and conversations. You’ve got to be intentional when you’re working to provide substantive contributions that are interesting to the new people you’re working to meet.
After all, no one ever said being the life of the party was easy, but they’ll usually tell you that’s it’s worth it.