We need to be on Facebook. Why aren’t we tweeting? Pinterest? Love the sound of that, let’s do it.

All signs of people thinking about the social media technology before the why, who and what.

You don’t buy a hammer and then find things to hit

You need to have an aim, something to achieve, a problem to solve before you start making use of the plethora of social media platforms and technology out there. Jumping on the likes of Facebook and then looking for something to do is just silly. Yet, the technology makes people do crazy things and get into a ‘we must act now’ frenzy. That technology-first approach has, and is leading many businesses down a dark alley.

Never buckle to social media pressure

It can be hard for people within businesses to stand up to those above them and say no. The reason I say that is that often it’s those at the upper echelons of a business that take the frenzied, ‘just do it’ approach to social media. They may have noticed a competitor using social and felt a pang of jealousy or even nervousness at the prospect of missing out on a pot of gold. Hype can often blur judgement! The upturn of this is that at least those senior figures are in some way motivated by social! A good starting point.

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Image courtesy of – http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwarby

The three W’s

When the social media pressure is on, bring out the three W’s and put them in front of the person applying the pressure. This of course applies to anyone, whether employed, or for your own business.

Why – Why are we going to do this? What is it going to do to improve our business or the way we serve our customers and prospects. Will it create tangible results?

Who – Who are we looking to communicate with? Will social suit our full customer base or are we aiming for a distinct group? Are our customers truly engaged with social? If so, where are they active? Do we have the resource to make the most of it? Who will run it?

What – What will we actually do when using social? Are we going to be creating our own content? Is it all about raising awareness (if so how are you going to measure that)? Will we use social to push people further down the sales funnel? How about purely using it for customer service? What will we do to prove what is working and work out what isn’t?

Each of the W’s could have a page of questions each! Using them will not only give you a strong starting point, but can go a long way to convincing people that jumping head first into the technology is a bad idea.

Once the thinking, planning and preparation has taken place, then it’s time to start thinking about the platforms and technology. After all, the technology is only the facilitator of your goals, the real work isn’t even visible most of the time.

I hope this post was useful! Do you have experience of a ‘technology first’ approach going wrong? 

If you’d like to discuss your social media strategy, please feel free to contact me.

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Mike McGrail


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