Geno likes to quote our friend, Francois Gossieaux, on a regular basis: “The vast majority of social media communities are dead-on-arrival.”
I can already hear you saying, “But we have all the right things in place, like our Ning and a Facebook Fan Page and Twitter account and this tool and that tool and bells and whistles and, and, and…”
It’s still going to be DOA. For the simple (and complicated) reason that it lacks one ingredient. And around these parts, it’s what we call SOUL.
Soul can’t be replaced by your technology platform. It can’t be duped by your influential blogger outreach strategy. And it can’t be duplicated by the hollow shell of the Trojan Horse that looks like a community, but is really another “push” mechanism with the illusion of engagement.
Soul is full of emotion. Soul is immaterial. Soul comes from people. Not platforms. Soul begins deep within the recesses of your chest. It’s wrapped in what you stand for and permeates every aspect of what you do and say.
So you want to know why you built that shiny community and it sucks? Because you forgot something. You started with the tech and not the soul. And you’re just another url in a sea of meaningless ports that are begging people to come to their party and talk about their brand. That’s soul-less.
Is it easy to find soul? Not always. Sometimes it’s as plain as the nose on your face. But a lot of times, you have to dig. Talk to people (face-to-face even *gasp*). Participate in their lives and not just their conversations. Walk a mile in their shoes. Only then can you even begin to understand what makes them tick – and if you’re lucky, get a glimpse of their soul.