But Why? Things to Ask Yourself About Social Media Strategy

“I’m starting a Twitter.”

“We’re making LinkedIn groups for all of our chapters.”

“I’m really excited about making our Facebook Page.”

I hear these types of statements quite frequently when I talk with colleagues. They’re enthusiastic, curious, even excited to take the plunge into social media. But then I ask them questions like,

“What purpose will it serve?” and “How is it relevant to your audience?” and the sobering, “How will you define and measure success?”

While many social tools are quick to set up and are generally free, they require care and feeding. Let’s say you’re going to start Twittering. Great! But, think about what your Twitter feed is going to DO: What will the style of the content be? Who will be in charge of maintaining it? Will it solve a problem for you, or just create new ones? And take a big step back: How does it fit in your communications strategy?

Measuring success when using social tools can prove difficult as well. What metric(s) will you use to declare victory in your social media foray? Number of followers or fans? ReTweets? Steady growth? Number of participants by a certain date? Decide ahead of time and track these numbers carefully. Be prepared: building a following takes time.

Make sure you ask yourself “why?” when you starting using a new tool. Then decide if your answer is something better than, “Because everyone else is.”

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2 Responses to But Why? Things to Ask Yourself About Social Media Strategy

  1. Another point to make is that if you aren’t willing to make a long-term commitment to social media, think twice about doing it. Case in point: a local hospitality business in my town spent a lot of money building a social network on Ning and it’s now essentially dormant. I could have guessed that they couldn’t stick to it, but what was the point of spending the money on the launch in the first place, attracting 200 or so members, and then watching it die. What a thrilling experience for participants–and nothing says “we suck” more loudly to new members than a community where the last post was three months ago.

  2. Elizabeth Allen says:

    Excellent point Michael. And it applies to most any website when you think about it – social or not. Out of date content on a “web 1.0” site is a deal breaker for me.

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