Author: Alasdair Munn
I am very interested to hear what people are doing within the world of Social media. I get a lot of value from reading widely on the subject. What I am not that interested in is people telling me how to “leverage” social media, or the best social network strategies.
I find some of it insular and limiting.
When we approach social media in a logical, scientific manner, bringing with us our right and wrong mindsets we set our own limits. Social media becomes part of a campaign rather than a diverse and effective business tool.
Let’s see. Some examples:
“Content is no longer static. The ability to put targeted content in front of the right people within the right context is where we are heading.”
“In order to do this you need to figure out where your audiences are and take your message to them”
Um. Yes that is part of it.
“In order to effectively distribute your content you need to take your message to where your audiences naturally congregate online, and that is social networks”
Again, yes, that is part of it too.
But this is not where it stops. For some organisations this forms an important part of their content strategy but not their whole strategy. I have been working with companies who recognise that the content on their own online networks needs to follow the same thinking. Audiences, be they internal, external, channel partners or customers should not have to search for the information that is relevant to them. They should not have to log out of one network and into another to get different levels of access to information.
Social media tools, applications, systems and thinking are allowing organisations to understand what content should be served up to who based upon their profiles, their level of permissions and their individual preferences. For example, a channel partner who needs access to three different levels of information should not have to search three different organisational online networks to receive it. Content should be served up seamlessly.
Choosing who gets to add value to what content and how has to be based upon a more robust strategy than sending content out to social networks. Setting levels of permissions and deciding where your content travels and what can or cannot happen to it when it gets there is all decided and set using social media tools and applications. It may never see a social network.
The same can be said for developing relationships. The mindset is that people go to online networks to develop online relationships. Absolutely. But this does not mean that an organisation has to formulate all its online relationships on social networks. Nor does it mean that all online relationships need to be overt, or based upon a social networking model.
Yes. Organisations do need to pay attention to online social networks and building relationships with their audiences where those audiences feel comfortable having those relationships. Content distribution strategies on social networks are important. But let’s also think how social media tools, applications and thinking can be used to create business tools beyond the social networking world.
The beauty of social media is it’s open ethos. Its ability to connect the right people to each other so they can collaborate and add value. This does not need to be limited by the boundaries of social networks or the strategies of commentators.
Photo by Pink Sherbert