Ask the Right Question


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Social media for business elicits the question of ROI. Business is conducted between people, and is therefore “social.” Don’t ask, “Yes or No?” Ask, WHICH ? All decisions are relative. Everytime we choose to do something, we choose, by default, NOT to do other things. Our time, money, energy, attention, and social capital, are limited…

For example, by choosing to invest my time writing this, I chose not to write something else. Then I chose to post this article on this blog, and not on my other blogs. For my thoughts on information overload and overwhelm, see my post, “Enough is Enough!”

We tend to want to have it all, do it all, and be all things to all people. It “ain’t” happenin’ my friend! We need to keep our priorities in mind. We need to be willing to say NO to lots of desirable things and enticing people. This is just especially true on the internet, where the stimuli are overwhelming. The temptation to follow one tangent after another saps our time and confuses us. The situation is especially dangerous on social networking sites.


Pareto’s Law, AKA the 80/20 Principle, is a guide to prioritizing the “vital few” vs. the “trivial many.”  It applies to ROI for businesses which participate on social media. When we choose to invest time (= money) in social networking, we have MANY relative choices to make among networking sites, and among potential “Friends,” Fans, and “Followers” and connections. It is impossible to do it all. We cannot be all things to all people. If we pursue maximum quantity, we may have to sacrifice quality.


As a “do-gooder” idealist, I used to want to do everything right. But I discovered that some things are ONLY worth doing if we are willing to accept imperfection in order to do them efficiently. This is not mutually exclusive to the concept that effectiveness is more important than efficiency. Sometimes we can be more effective overall, net-net, by doing some things minimally. Of course, SOME things (much of the 80 %) are NOT worth doing at all. I have finally concluded that, despite the old adage to the contrary, NOT “everything worth doing is worth doing well.” What do YOU think? Please post your opinions and comments here.

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