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Social Media, as we all know, has gotten a TON of hype in the last few years. But with the hype, has come a lot of misconceptions about the tools. In many cases, I think that companies are focused too much on the tools themselves, and not realizing that these are simply new channels that allow us to quickly and easily communicate and connect with each other.

Last week in Scottsdale at the MarketingProfs Digital Marketing Mixer, I was lucky enough to meet many people who are wanting to push blogging efforts forward at their businesses. What I noticed from the people that I talked to in my one-on-one sessions was that they mostly shared two qualities; They were very curious about blogging, and very scared by it as well. It was as if they felt that they had to do something, but they weren't sure what that 'something' was.
And I got to thinking about that, and I realized that in a few years, these people and the companies that they work for will probably be the ones that we look back and view as being the brave ones that dove into the blogging waters. It would be so easy for these companies to say that they don't understand blogging, and thusly dismiss it. But they knew that something so big was happening that the fear of being left behind, overcame their fear of the unknown.
On a personal level, these discussions might have been the most rewarding to me. So many of the sessions started with the frustration-tinged admission that "I don't know what to do!" But in reality, I think most people know more about blogging than they realize. I remember telling someone the importance of going and commenting on other blogs, especially when a blogger leaves a comment on your blog. The woman thought for a second, then added, "So what you're saying is....I should go back to their blog after they comment on my blog, and say what....'Thank You?' " I clarified that it was all she had to do, and reminded her that she "shouldn't overthink this." At one point I told one woman that "You CAN do this!" and watched as a smile and a look of relief seemed to wash over her.
You, like the good people I was lucky enough to meet at the Digital Marketing Mixer, can do this. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

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image of Mack Collier

Mack Collier is a social-media strategist based in Alabama. He helps companies build programs and initiatives that let them better connect with their customers and advocates. His podcast, The Fan-Damn-Tastic Marketing Show, discusses ways that brands can turn customers into fans. His first book, Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies That Turn Customers Into Fans, was published in April 2013 by McGraw-Hill.

Twitter: @MackCollier

LinkedIn: Mack Collier