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Social media will fix everything that ails you. Every time you turn around you see another magazine article, blog post, cable TV news story telling you that social media is changing everything about business and you need to get on board. And if that wasn't bad enough, your boss sees all those same articles and wants to know why you have started things yet. Oh, and when will you have a million likes on your Facebook page? That is the new standard for all brands. A consultant told me that at a conference. And he can help me get them.

If you fall victim to the hype of social media, then you are no better than a snake oil salesman who claims social media will change everything. Here is a list of 10 ways to avoid that moniker:

1. Connect social media goals and efforts to your company's business objectives.

2. Establish measurable goals that you can affect with social media activity.

3. Don't go along with your boss when he/she says to get started without a strategy and a plan.

4. Understand that social media doesn't improve bad products or services. It just lets more people know about it.

5. Explain that overall ROI may be difficult, but you will get there in stages.

6. Set expectations that social media generated leads and sales may take some time to reach respectable levels.

7. Start with a measurable pilot project to demonstrate success.

8. Show executives the value in social media. Don't just tell them it's shiny.

9. Find out where your customers and prospects are online. Don't make assumptions.

10. Go social when you are ready. Don't worry about lagging behind. This is really the beginning of the change.


Download our free ebook, Social Media Blueprint: A Step-by-Step Plan to Prepare Your Company, to help you overcome cultural/company obstacles, adopt social media and get everyone working together.