legoIt is great to have opinions. It is also a good idea to seek out and learn from other peoples perspectives. What is important is to apply what you have learned in a manner that ensures relevance and context.  I used to be an Apple evangelist. I still love Apple and it is my weapon of choice, but I stopped a while ago trying to convert those that use PC. I can see that I was trying to prescribe a technology based upon my own criteria. My own needs, likes, values and learning styles. Really the choice should be based upon:

  • Who you are
  • Your objectives
  • Your needs
  • Your learning styles
  • Your resources
  • Your history etc.

That is not to say Apple evangelists cannot put a case forward for why they like to use Apple products, but it does mean that they need to listen to and accept other peoples decisions and reasons for using a PC. Based on this, if I am asked to recommend a laptop for someone, I need to base my recommendations on their needs verses my own.

I made this mistake in my last blog post “The politics of Followers”. The blog talked about my personal take on the collection of followers on a social network like Twitter. I feel it broke my own rules around discovery, context and relevance.

A personal or organisational social media strategy cannot be pre-determined. It really does need to be built according to the organisations or person’s unique objectives. It needs to understand its audiences and it needs to work within the boundaries of its resources. It is conceivable that an element of an organisations marketing strategy might include manipulating a large twitter following. Perhaps there are instances where they might not gain much from their actual followers, but more from the perception from those outside Twitter that they have a large buy in? Whatever the reason, it is reasonable to assume this is a considered strategy.

It is great to get people’s perceptions on various social networks and to understand how they are using them. Valuable insights and best practices can be learned. The problem arises when people take a prescriptive view of them. Following someone’s strategy to the letter can lead to copycat strategies that go horribly wrong. Context and relevance are key. Start at the beginning, be patient and go through your discovery process.

Photo by Craig Rodway