It’s New Years Eve Eve, and I’m sitting in my office madly trying to get my paperwork in order so that I can get sorted for the weekend ahead and not fret over 2011 things.  So, to help me get through my lunch I’ve just read a blog post from Mashable about what their predictions for Facebook will be in 2012.

This stood out for me:

“From the maturation of Mark Zuckerberg as a leader to Facebook’s growth as a media platform to a looming collision with the world’s biggest tech companies, 2012 is poised to be one of the most important years in the company’s short history.”

See that people, “MEDIA PLATFORM”.  I have spent a great deal of time in training and speaking about social media in the region I live in, to the point that I can freely describe myself as the leading social media specialist.  One thing I have not swayed from since I started spruiking about the benefits is that it has to be planned, it has to be formulated and you have to have a strategy.

It is one thing to have the basics in place, but its not going to work without strategy.  The amount of times I’ve had people say, it’s not working, this is a waste of time, blah blah blah, has been difficult to listen to.  The urgency to get onboard with the medium and then just expect it to sit and grow and get you business without putting time and know how into it.

So, the Mashable article in that one sentence has helped me to articulate what I want to now…

If you had the budget to have a television commercial (TVC) produced and then run on all major free to air networks in your respective country, how much planning would go into that?  You would be speaking to media buying specialists, you would be talking to creative writers, you would be talking to producers, a creative agency.  You would be investing a great deal of time and money into something to ensure the best possible return on your investment – because you just won’t waste money like that.

Right, so, FACEBOOK/TWITTER/BLOGS/WEBSITE/GOOGLE+/YOUTUBE – it’s your new media and its one tenth the price of a TVC.  If your holy grail were to get on TV – we’d recommend you do that by using free publicity to show the success of your business through the use of social media.

Message for you as we head into 2012.  Don’t take social media with a grain of salt anymore.  2012 is about bringing this big boy into line and using it to your advantage.  Failing to plan means planning to fail.  

Get your head around the fact of using a specialist to help build a strategy.

Get your head around the fact of using a specialist to help create your communications.

Get your head around the fact of using a specialist to ensure that every single solitary form of communication drives a person to one area or another like a big series of merry-go-rounds.  

It’s time to get smart, it’s time to get busy, it’s time to start using your noggin and stop wasting time with the basics.  This is a media platform – like television, radio and newspaper.  

You wouldn’t go into a program of the traditional stuff without help – don’t do it with your modern stuff.

Happy New Year to you and yours.  Be safe, 2012 is going to be big, and we need to pull together to make sure stuff gets done.

All the best