- A strategy should be concerned with the how question: how will you achieve your objective(s)? Recent examples for us have been 'how will we raise awareness of hate crime?' or 'how will we change people's perceptions of an area of our city?' These questions can be answered by describing the tools you will use, the messages you will communicate, the audiences you are seeking to reach and how will you know whether you've achieved your objective. If we ask the question 'how can we use social media?', the use of social media becomes the end in itself.
- Too often people fall into the trap of confusing a social media strategy with guidelines. Guidelines can be very useful, particularly as you extend the number of people who are using social media in your business. Wolverhampton Homes guidelines are here.
- Social media is a communications tool. As with other tools, our job as communications practitioners is to understand them and select the appropriate tool for the situation. I prefer to develop strategies for campaigns and messages rather than tools. Wolverhampton Homes doesn't have a newsletter strategy; we use the newsletter as a tool in campaigns - and we take the same approach with social media.
- When you're using a new communications tool, it's better to focus on experimenting and learning how your audience responds to it than waste your time writing some grand strategy. It may give you or your managers (false) comfort but in reality, you are probably just postponing getting on with using it. The risk with new tools is that people may focus on using them for their own sake rather than focusing on what they want to use them for.
- If you don't believe me, Eric Weave puts it much better than I can.
Sunday, 30 October 2011
Why you don't need a social media strategy
I am regularly asked to share Wolverhampton Homes social media strategy and I have to reply that we don't have one. Here's why: