I recently read a great blog post from Seth Godin, in his infinite marketing and business wisdom he made three especially hard-hitting points in a Professionals Platform entry that struck me as great topics to elaborate upon as they relate to social media. They are below in bold, followed by my own elaboration.

If you only show up when you want something, we’ll catch on.

We discuss this concept with our clients often.  Today’s consumer landscape is very advanced, and they don’t want to necessarily help build your brand just because you want them to. So if you only show up to the conversation when you want something, consumers will see through your efforts, not to mention be offended by them.  But if you are continuously part of the conversation, there at all times listening, participating, or hosting the conversation when your consumers want to talk you, they will be more likely to lend a helping hand to build your business when you need them.

If you only learn the minimum amount necessary to get over the next hurdle, you’ll fall behind.

Social media and digital strategy is a constant learning curve, and beyond just knowing HOW to use social media tools, you also need to know the WHY.  The why and the strategy behind using social media tools is the important part of the process.  If you learn just enough to get by, by the time your “by” your already behind.  Proper implementation of social media requires becoming fully engulfed in it on an ongoing basis, with an eye towards the ever evolving future.  So keep your eye on the horizon and you’ll naturally feel the hurdles coming while more easily overcoming them.

If these short-term choices leave you focused on the urgent, you’ll almost never get around to doing the important.

We find this statement to be especially relevant in terms of crisis management for brands and social media.  When a brand destroying story hits the social media wire, brands often make quick knee jerk decisions to address immediate needs.  But the urgent need of squashing the bad press masks the important actions needed.  What is important is developing a strategy to be monitoring these mentions and being able to address them before they become a four alarm fire.  Of course reaction is needed when these situations roll around, but don’t let them blind you from the more important long-term actions.

In all Mr. Godin makes three great points that are certainly applicable in all aspects of business including social media: Participate in the conversation before you need something, learn more than just enough as “just enough” is a forever moving target, and don’t let day-to-day details steer you from the important strategic decisions.