What happens when you don’t know what components make your business?
If I told a professional chef that they had to make a five course meal using ingredients they’ve never seen before, the reality is that most professionals would gracefully decline the job.
In the world of social media I see things on a weekly basis that didn’t exist before.
My entire profession is about testing ingredients, selecting best practices, finding old ingredients that work with new spices, realizing my old ingredients went bad, or simply being a food tester.
On the other hand: when I am doing competitive research I often analyze, audit, dissect, quantify, and classify the food other people are serving. In many cases I’ve bought a few meals for myself and explored the menu, or asked a few other patrons what they thought about the food.
What this has taught me…
Be warned: there is a lot of dog food being served right now…
and even the dog food lies about using real meat.
The connection to this metaphor is simple:
1- If a salesman sells you dog food, don’t forget it is dog food.
It probably won’t kill you… but I can guarantee it is made of the cheapest things you could possibly find. Sales professionals are notorious for making dog food seem like it is better than sliced bread. If you try to pass it off to your guests as expensive meat pate, good luck formalizing the apology when they discover the truth.
2- Just because it comes in a pretty package doesn’t mean it isn’t dog food.
You can creatively design a package for anything. In today’s marketplace that means hiring questionable sales people (think Yellow Page / Insurance Sales) or even spend more money on the promotional container than the dog food is worth.
Dog food under any other name is still dog food.
3- Don’t mistake the social media dog food when it is being endorsed by people who drank the social media kool-aid.
A lot of things happen when someone spikes the fruit punch at the party and common sense gets thrown out the window. In many cases the most vocal evangelists drank WAY TO MUCH kool-aid and have become oblivious to what they are saying (and who they are saying it to.)
4- The dog food being eaten by some of the evangelist isn’t dog food.
Did you ever have that experience as a kid when someone challenged you to eat something gross and later found out they were eating something else? Many evangelist don’t eat dog food they talk about (they may act like they do, but the reality is they had a nice New York Steak for dinner.)
5- If you are trying something new, recognize your capabilities and the potential risks.
If you are going to eat it: be aware of experimentation. If you have a weak stomach or a heart condition, it isn’t advisable to do your own food testing.
Dog food can keep you alive.
The fact is you can save a lot of money feeding dog food to an entire army of people.
SIMPLE: Don’t serve dog food to the community.
If you are feeding cheap dog food to your army (it could be clients, employees, investors, etc) – one day someone will realize what they are really eating and tell everyone else. This isn’t a survivable scenario… your army will revolt and try to burn your company to the ground.
If you had a warning that should be put on a can of social media dog food, what would it be?