Friday, November 5, 2010

Social Media Is The Answer. But What's The Question?

The Social Media 'Experts'
Is social media the answer to everything? I’m a little concerned when I hear the ‘experts’ tout social media as the be-all and end-all. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big believer in the power of these new tools or why would I have an entire blog dedicated to the subject, right?

Social media offers immense opportunities to big and small organizations to amplify their message. It has transformed the way we consume, access and share information, how we influence and are influenced, and how we engage, build relationships and make decisions.

But here are three reasons why I don’t think social media alone is the magical formula that can revolutionize your business:

1. Not Everyone Is Using Social Media
Those of us in the social media club often forget that not everyone is on Facebook or Twitter. True, the numbers are growing but it does not represent the universe, only a certain demographic of the population. (I still have to e-mail or call a few friends who are not on Facebook to find out how they’re doing.) It all depends on the profile of your target audience, whether a majority of those use social media or not and whether social media is the right channel for your message.

2. Use of Social Media Requires a Combination of Content, Marketing and Public Relations Strategies
We’ve all often heard misconceptions of how organizations think they should start a Facebook page or start tweeting because they’ve heard they’re supposed to be doing that but don’t really understand why. Just starting a Facebook page or Twitter profile will not achieve anything. The truth is social media needs a content strategy that defines what you will post or share and how you will engage others meaningfully. It also requires a PR and marketing strategy that determines how you will use it to share your key messages or promote a latest product/service or build your online brand.

3. Social Media Needs To Be Integrated With Everything Else
If your PR efforts are being handled by one agency or consultant and your social media efforts by another, you are doing this the WRONG way. Social Media must become intrinsic to your organization and complement everything else you do online or offline – whether it’s recruiting efforts, sending out a press release or publicizing your latest campaign. Social media offers tools to share your message (among other tools) and it must be integrated with your offline PR, HR or marketing efforts to represent your brand or organization authentically.

What are your thoughts on this? Weigh in using the comments section below.


  1. another useful article..keep it up Farida!!

  2. Thought you might enjoy this:Jackson Nickerson, on what the elections can teach us about corporate communications

  3. Thanks for your comment, Leema. It's an interesting article.


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