Social Media – A non-specialist speaks out!

I preface this post with an admission that I am not a social media specialist.  I am, dare I say it a communication specialist and a massive “partaker” in the land of Social Media. I have actually been described as a Facebook addicted crack whore…but that’s a discussion for another day.  So what I’m saying is this post is my opinion.  If you disagree, great. Don’t write me hate letters – do something constructive like volunteering at the Salvos or the RSPCA.

Okay, so my two cents on Social Media – you ready?

Social Media is NOT….

A silver bullet. It will not solve all of your communications issues. It is not a panacea for your organisation’s ills. Poor communication strategy remains poor communication strategy with social media in the mix.

Under your control: I have heard SM “experts” rave about the fact you can control the SM space. Rubbish. Ask Nestle or BP how well that’s working for them right now.  Fact is folks, you engage media of any kind with the understanding it’s a calculated risk and you can manage, but never control.

Not for everyone: There I said it. We have a range of clients for whom social media is no appropriate. Why? Largely, because it’s not where their key stakeholders live. Remember, good communication strategy is all about knowing who you’re talking to and what you’re trying to say.

Social Media IS …

A tool in the toolbox: Communication strategy is all about having the right tools in the toolbox, and SM is an important tool.  A great example of that is in the area of crisis communication management and planning. Back in the day, radio used to be the quickest and easiest way of getting a message out. Now, we look to twitter and YouTube. 

A source in itself: Ever been quoted in mainstream media because of something you tweeted? I have. FB and Twitter have become the hunting ground of mainstream media and stories are often born in the SM space. So apply the same rules to what you post and tweet…if in doubt, leave it out.

All about the conversation: It is my view that no-one should engage in SM, particularly Twitter, unless you’re committed to the dialogue.  Think about it. You’d never build a relationship with a person when all they do is talk AT you or PUSH their information to you so why would you do that in the SM space. If you’re going to do it, do it right and that means listening as much as you talk, and taking the time to engage.

Righto folks, that’s it for now.  Until next time, see you in the SM space.

GT

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