Content Marketing, Social Business, Social Media Strategy, Blogging and Content Creation, Social Media Marketing, Social Media Staffing and Operations

Passion Trumps Position

social media at bayonet point Passion Trumps PositionAre you trying to embrace social media at bayonet point?

Yes, you should absolutely broaden your social media efforts, and get more people from your company involved, and in more places. But, you should not do that at the expense of the secret ingredient of social media – Passion.

Why do features and benefits-laden messages not work in social media? Because people typically aren’t passionate about features.

Why do people friend companies on Facebook? Because they are passionate about that brand.

Why do people that you don’t know take the time to retweet your content on Twitter? Because they’re passionate about what you have to say.

Sure, social media bloggers/consultants like me, Mack Collier, Danny Brown, Dave Fleet, Jacob Morgan, Sonny Gill, Olivier Blanchard, Jason Falls and many more pick up the occasional client or speaking gig from our blogs, but the blog writing itself doesn’t pay for itself. Far from it. We spend the time writing because we have a passion for it.

You can’t buy passion. And you can’t fake it.

In their zeal to get involved in social media, many companies (and even some of my clients), have adopted a policy of assigning social media responsibilities. You are a Vice President. Thus, you know what you’re doing, and we need to share that thought leadership with the world. Consequently, you will be blogging, and we expect you to have a new post every two weeks.

Does that sound familiar?

You can’t force social media adoption, because the more you associate social media with just another job task that you don’t really have time for, the less passion your content will contain, and the less successful it will be.

Passion trumps position in social media. If you have mid-level or junior staff that really want to create content on behalf of your company, you’re better off giving them the keys and helping them create more engaging and insightful content, as opposed to adhering to an edict that the senior team has to be the mouthpiece.

The content will have passion. The content creators will be happy that you gave them the opportunity to communicate on behalf of the company. And the members of your team that would rather not get involved in social media can stay on the sidelines, making them happier, too.

At the organization level, we’re almost to the point where social media engagement is mandatory. At the individual level, we aren’t, and I’m not sure we’ll ever get there, or should.

How about you? Do you have people gritting their teeth about social media in your company?

(photo by floodllama)

  • http://www.dailyaxioms.com/ Tim Otis

    Jason,
    You hit the nail on the head in stressing the importance of being passionate about social media. There are times when I try to ‘fabricate’ passion just so I might involve myself in a topic or thread of conversation– only to find it doesn’t garner results because I am simply being one-sided. Being passionate is about sharing information. Beth Harte said it best when she called those who take and don’t give back ‘social media leeches.’ I have to say in stumbling across gems like this, it gives me more reason to just love what I’m doing as a social media manager. I’m always learning.
    .-= Tim Otis´s last blog ..The Twitter death: what if it just died? =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jason Baer

      Tim – Thanks so much for the kind words and nice comment. You’re lucky that your job IS social media. It’s a lot easier to make the time that way, right?

  • http://www.dailyaxioms.com Tim Otis

    Jason,
    You hit the nail on the head in stressing the importance of being passionate about social media. There are times when I try to ‘fabricate’ passion just so I might involve myself in a topic or thread of conversation– only to find it doesn’t garner results because I am simply being one-sided. Being passionate is about sharing information. Beth Harte said it best when she called those who take and don’t give back ‘social media leeches.’ I have to say in stumbling across gems like this, it gives me more reason to just love what I’m doing as a social media manager. I’m always learning.
    .-= Tim Otis´s last blog ..The Twitter death: what if it just died? =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jason Baer

      Tim – Thanks so much for the kind words and nice comment. You’re lucky that your job IS social media. It’s a lot easier to make the time that way, right?

  • http://thelostjacket.com/ Stuart Foster

    Passion can’t be faked. However, passion can be suppressed.

    In a lot of companies creating a social media program (or even exploring the possibility of having one) are seen as herculean tasks. Roadblocks, politics and the status quo usually stand in the way.

    Passion can overcome these obstacles but only if you know how to effectively navigate the inner workings of an agency or company.
    .-= Stuart Foster´s last blog ..Cooking Up Some Patience =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jason Baer

      Stuart – Right you are. It’s so much easier to say no than to say yes. Especially when you see more and more social media brandjackings in social media. It just takes one person in an organization to submarine the whole affair.

  • http://thelostjacket.com Stuart Foster

    Passion can’t be faked. However, passion can be suppressed.

    In a lot of companies creating a social media program (or even exploring the possibility of having one) are seen as herculean tasks. Roadblocks, politics and the status quo usually stand in the way.

    Passion can overcome these obstacles but only if you know how to effectively navigate the inner workings of an agency or company.
    .-= Stuart Foster´s last blog ..Cooking Up Some Patience =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jason Baer

      Stuart – Right you are. It’s so much easier to say no than to say yes. Especially when you see more and more social media brandjackings in social media. It just takes one person in an organization to submarine the whole affair.

  • http://www.esalesdata.com/ email appending

    Yes now a days the social media become everybody’s media. Anybody can reach without any trouble. Winner will be the one who always make use of social media for promotion of his service.

  • http://www.esalesdata.com email appending

    Yes now a days the social media become everybody’s media. Anybody can reach without any trouble. Winner will be the one who always make use of social media for promotion of his service.

  • Dan Levine

    Jason, thoughtful post, as always. For me it’s a tough middle ground. No, you don’t want folks engaging at bayonet point, but you do need your company to engage. So I think you’re right in that you need to find the person(s) in your company that has/have the passion, interest, energy, and commitment to it and give them the support they need to engage successfully. I’m a huge advocate of engaging your employees “where they are” and helping them help your company where their passion lies. More often than not you’ve got the talent in-house. You just need to coax it out and give those folks the opportunity to shine. Great stuff, Jason — thanks!

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jason Baer

      Thanks Dan. I always appreciate you taking the time to comment. I agree. Social media isn’t for everyone – especially blogging. You have to diagnose who in your organization wants to be involved in what capacity, and allow those desires to flourish. If you have NOBODY in your company that wants to do it, well then you have a bigger cultural problem, I’d say.

  • http://YourWebsite Dan Levine

    Jason, thoughtful post, as always. For me it’s a tough middle ground. No, you don’t want folks engaging at bayonet point, but you do need your company to engage. So I think you’re right in that you need to find the person(s) in your company that has/have the passion, interest, energy, and commitment to it and give them the support they need to engage successfully. I’m a huge advocate of engaging your employees “where they are” and helping them help your company where their passion lies. More often than not you’ve got the talent in-house. You just need to coax it out and give those folks the opportunity to shine. Great stuff, Jason — thanks!

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jason Baer

      Thanks Dan. I always appreciate you taking the time to comment. I agree. Social media isn’t for everyone – especially blogging. You have to diagnose who in your organization wants to be involved in what capacity, and allow those desires to flourish. If you have NOBODY in your company that wants to do it, well then you have a bigger cultural problem, I’d say.

  • http://www.mojo2go.us/ Judy | Mojo2Go

    Ahhh … very timely … I was part of a similar discussion on LinkedIn some days ago …. we labeled this: ‘faux fuzzies’; the act of an impassionate individual messaging their brand thru social media. Customers feel it when the message is disingenuous; heck so too does our family members; fellow workers, neighbors, etc.

    Can you subcontract passion? Hmmm …. I can think of one profession where that’s possible …. but nothing else comes to mind. ;)

  • http://www.mojo2go.us Judy | Mojo2Go

    Ahhh … very timely … I was part of a similar discussion on LinkedIn some days ago …. we labeled this: ‘faux fuzzies’; the act of an impassionate individual messaging their brand thru social media. Customers feel it when the message is disingenuous; heck so too does our family members; fellow workers, neighbors, etc.

    Can you subcontract passion? Hmmm …. I can think of one profession where that’s possible …. but nothing else comes to mind. ;)

  • http://www.serengeticommunications.com/ bethharte

    “You can’t buy passion. And you can’t fake it.”

    THANK YOU Jay! This is why ghost blogging & tweeting do not work. Why don’t people get that? If a CEO or janitor is passionate about the company they work for it will come out in their writing. If not, you can tell that too (“buy our new innovative product, it’s the best thing since we leveraged our last thought-leading, groundbreaking product…no, really, trust us, it is. In fact recently a VP said it was, but we can’t give you his name.”)

    And an agency can’t fake it passion for a company that is passionless [Walmarting Across America] because there are just too many disconnects with tone, content, context and community when someone tries to fake it.

    This is also why I don’t blog everyday. I can only write when passion strikes. I am a blogger, not a journalist.

    BTW, do you mind if I steal that line?! ;-)

    Beth Harte
    Community Manager, MarketingProfs
    @marketingprofs

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jason Baer

      You can ghost write SEO content or something like that, but you can’t ghost write something that is supposed to come from the heart and soul, and that’s social media.

      To that end, I certainly wish you DID blog every day, because your stuff is incredibly valuable and thoughtful. You’re lucky that you can create and consume and manipulate content as part of your job, and then do some other writing on the side when you’re passionate. Best of both worlds, I’d say.

  • http://www.marketingprofs.com Beth Harte

    “You can’t buy passion. And you can’t fake it.”

    THANK YOU Jay! This is why ghost blogging & tweeting do not work. Why don’t people get that? If a CEO or janitor is passionate about the company they work for it will come out in their writing. If not, you can tell that too (“buy our new innovative product, it’s the best thing since we leveraged our last thought-leading, groundbreaking product…no, really, trust us, it is. In fact recently a VP said it was, but we can’t give you his name.”)

    And an agency can’t fake it passion for a company that is passionless [Walmarting Across America] because there are just too many disconnects with tone, content, context and community when someone tries to fake it.

    This is also why I don’t blog everyday. I can only write when passion strikes. I am a blogger, not a journalist.

    BTW, do you mind if I steal that line?! ;-)

    Beth Harte
    Community Manager, MarketingProfs
    @marketingprofs

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jason Baer

      You can ghost write SEO content or something like that, but you can’t ghost write something that is supposed to come from the heart and soul, and that’s social media.

      To that end, I certainly wish you DID blog every day, because your stuff is incredibly valuable and thoughtful. You’re lucky that you can create and consume and manipulate content as part of your job, and then do some other writing on the side when you’re passionate. Best of both worlds, I’d say.

  • csternberg

    RT @tweetmeme Passion Trumps Position | Social Media Marketing | Social Media Consulting – Convince & Convert http://bit.ly/3w05Dx

  • http://twitter.com/jeffhurt/status/3429735645 Jeff Hurt

    Passion Trumps Position by @jaybear [Don’t force social media @ your comp, empower those passionate about it] http://ow.ly/kIi9

  • http://twitter.com/susuh/status/3429879971 Susuh

    RT @JeffHurt: Passion Trumps Position by @jaybear [Don’t force SM @ your comp, empower those passionate about it] http://ow.ly/kIi9

  • http://twitter.com/moocow1118/status/3430172850 Bonnie Crane

    RT @JeffHurt Passion Trumps Position by @jaybear [Don’t force social media @ your comp, empower those passionate about it] http://ow.ly/kIi9

  • http://twitter.com/katcalbes/status/3430911813 Kat Calbes

    Hear hear! RT @jaybaer Just cuz you’re a VP doesn’t mean you HAVE to blog. Why passion trumps position in social media. http://ow.ly/ks3g

  • http://twitter.com/bennesvig/status/3558318524 Ben Nesvig

    From Convince & Convert: Passion Trumps Position http://bit.ly/PnGyS

  • http://twitter.com/tommartin/status/3909513116 Tom Martin

    ‘You can’t buy passion. You can’t fake it.’ another great post from @JasonBaer http://budurl.com/8vsm

  • http://twitter.com/zehndercom/status/3909513123 Zehnder

    ‘You can’t buy passion. You can’t fake it.’ another great post from @JasonBaer http://budurl.com/8vsm

  • http://twitter.com/andytabar/status/3910812376 AndyTabar

    RT @TomMartin ‘You can’t buy passion. You can’t fake it.’ @JasonBaer http://bit.ly/7DGDq

  • http://twitter.com/andytabar/status/3910829148 AndyTabar

    AndyTabarRT @TomMartin ‘You can’t buy passion. You can’t fake it.’ @ jaybaer http://bit.ly/7DGDq

  • http://twitter.com/andytabar/status/3910831956 AndyTabar

    AndyTabarRT @TomMartin ‘You can’t buy passion. You can’t fake it.’ @jaybaer http://bit.ly/7DGDq

  • http://www.air-jordan-3.com/ air jordan 3

    The idea of friend upstairs is reasonable, maintaining a healthy body is very important, I bought a few pieces of XX particularly recently,it can help keep our body healthy, let us feel fit as a fiddle every day, I was alight it in this store!!http://www.canno-tmake.com/

  • Kimberly Snyder

    Jay you really strike a deep cord by stating: “You can’t force social media adoption,… Passion trumps position in social media”.

    I have witnessed several retailers attempt to build a social presence on the backs of their leadership team only to uncover that a social following is not “forced” but is stirred from the ground up by real, true, raw content.

    Simply a great post Jay.

    Kimberly Snyder
    Bronto Software
    Director of Strategic Services
    @kimberlysnyder

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Thank you Kimberly. I appreciate that.

  • Kimberly Snyder

    Jay you really strike a deep cord by stating: “You can’t force social media adoption,… Passion trumps position in social media”.

    I have witnessed several retailers attempt to build a social presence on the backs of their leadership team only to uncover that a social following is not “forced” but is stirred from the ground up by real, true, raw content.

    Simply a great post Jay.

    Kimberly Snyder
    Bronto Software
    Director of Strategic Services
    @kimberlysnyder

  • http://twitter.com/ChrisCBaldwin Chris Baldwin

    Jay, Couldn’t agree more. You either have it or you don’t and it really doesn’t matter how old you are or not. You have to have a passion for learning and for experimentation. As I’ve heard you say, “You’re a student and a teacher with social media.” The people within our organization who are using social media and blogging effectively are passionate about it because they know what they know and they’re ready to learn what they don’t. They read constantly and they’re looking to understand. I’m also finding that they like to share and help educate the group.

    The first point I make with any younger associate at our firm is that they’ve got to be passionate about their clients’ business because their clients are passionate about it. If they can’t get excited, then they need to find another account or perhaps another agency. Hard lesson to learn but the same is true of blogging. You can tell when someone is writing because they have a passion for it and when they simply just want to hit “send.”

    Thanks… keep it up.

    Chris

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Thanks Chris. Glad you agree.

  • letstalkandchat

    If you’re looking for webinar software, then check out Evergreen Business System. Its perfect for marketers and let’s you automate the scheduling of your webinars, build your list, and even follow up with your webinar registrants. If you’re going to buy Evergreen Business System, then you might as well get a free bonus! So check out http://www.mikelmurphy.com/evergreen-business-system-bonus-webinar-software/ and you’ll get a great bonus that tells you how to create a webinar, what is a webinar, and a blueprint for making a successful one. None of the other people offering bonuses are offering this. Hurry in case the guy (some dude that worked on Lord of the RIngs) offering the bonus decides to pull it down.