The first time I got this question, I was surprised and took a second to answer.
Of course I write it, I thought. My name is on it.
When I asked people why they asked, they said that they loved the blog, but figured that I had other people writing under my direction. I was a CEO, after all.
The question prompted two thoughts.
First, we all have different styles of thinking and communicating. I write, so when I hit on something that I’m interested or puzzled about, my inclination is to try to get it down on paper and see whether it makes sense. I can go through my old files and find documents that I have written at different key moments in my career that laid out what I was seeing and how it sorted out.
This blog simply offers a platform to share some of those things. I write it because that’s what I do…write.
The second thought stems from that last point: a lot of people have things to say, but they aren’t people who write. There’s nothing wrong with that; we all have our different styles.
Those people who have things to say but aren’t people who write shouldn’t be left out of the power of using content and social media to communicate. And, people don’t expect them to be left out. When people asked me whether I wrote this blog or not, the question wasn’t pejorative. They don’t expect CEO’s to write, but they do expect them to have something to say.
Two years ago, when I began seriously exploring how businesses were using social media tools to market, I was struck by this basic inequity: the benefits of social media accrued to the people who could write, not necessarily the people who were the best at doing the work of their business. People who were facile with content and technology could stamp out daunting digital footprints, taking mindshare and traffic away from other, potentially more expert and more deserving businesses.
This was the problem we decided to try to solve when we launched the DigitalSherpa line of services: Can you make content marketing using social media tools accessible to local businesses? The purpose was to help level the playing field, to give people who had something to say but lacked the skills to say it a toolkit.
We’ve had some success and are learning along the way. I’m constantly struck, though, by people who look at businesses and say, If you don’t do social media yourself, then you’re not doing it the right way. That statement has an elitist and exclusive air. The real question that all of us should be trying to contribute solutions to is how to make the power of social media marketing available to any business, regardless of how good they are at writing and interacting and sharing.