Posted by: blackvector | March 13, 2009

Why are you on social media?

Reading from David Peck’s blog http://newmediachatter.com I found an article on the steps involved in getting a company into social media, interesting post, especially this one which is spot on.

From the blog post at newmediachatter.com:

Erica Friedman Publisher at ALC Publishing, President of Yuricon:

1) What is the goal of getting into social media?
2) What ROI are you looking for?
3) What message are you sending?

“Social media” is no more a golden ticket to success than having a website was in 1996. ‘If you build it, they will come” does NOT apply to social media. You need to find the audience where they already are and address them in those spaces. If you’re throwing up a MySpace page, when your audience lives on Slashdot, you’ve just wasted gobs of money and time. Don’t assume that “audience” translates to “market.” 13000 followers on Twitter might not mean a single extra sale. You need to know what you’re doing and why otherwise, it’s just more empty promotion-speak.

I find several government agencies jumping onto the social media train without even asking where it is going or why they are even getting onboard. Citizen engagement should be the reason, as social media is a great way to enhance an agencies outreach. However, simply setting up a Twitter account or getting a page on FaceBook is not what it is about. As Friedman points out, build it and they will come does not apply. It is much like if you see a really nice, cool looking restaurant and you go in to eat, but the food is no good, you will not be back. If the content and what you are communicating via social media stinks, no one will “friend” you or “follow” you. Your effort, time, and money will be wasted.

The basic rules for public affairs and public relations apply: know the audience, tailor the message to the audience, and evaluate your efforts. Focus on who you are trying to communicate with and why, and find out what social media sites best fit your purpose. It may be some, none, or all the sites. One thing is clear, no agency can afford not to leverage the power of social media.

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