I spent nearly 14 years of my career in television news.  I started in 2000.  At the time the internet was obviously picking up steam, but social media still hadn’t been born yet.  Once social media came on the scene the whole game changed.  The whole way that people communicated with news or got their news would change forever.

Now, the people I worked with (both along side and my managers) seemed to never connect the big dots on social.  It’s nice being “social”, it’s great having eyeballs, it’s wonderful having activity … but if you’re giving away the goods for free you’re making somebody else money.  And that somebody else is the platform you’re on.

It never made sense to me why we would give the whole forecast away on Twitter or the juicy details of the story of the day on Facebook.  Our managers and workers would have conversations and meetings trying to figure out how we can increase our number of likes and increase the number of people engaging with us.  We never came up with a solid plan to figure out how can we turn the activity to money.  Whether that was driving people to our website or driving people to the TV station.  And, that was a mistake.

Social is very important, you should engage with your people, you should create content, you should brand yourself, and at times you probably should give away some content.  But, you have to have a plan.  If you’re a company on social … it’s a tool you’re using to make money.

It’s very easy to get sidetracked in social because you’re spending time being “social”.  But, when it comes to your company, come up with a plan to use social to put money in the bank.

Steve Milone / Social Solutions Georgia

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