Friday, September 12, 2008

Social media is more than technology

I often hear people say "We have a social media strategy, our company has a blog and a widget." A blog or a widget, does not a social media strategy make.

Former Yahoo! chief sales officer Wenda Harris Millard said "Technology is very important, but where many companies go wrong is when they think technology is the answer or primary solution to proving a business solution to a marketing problem. The business of advertising is still a business of persuasion. Machines can't make art."

It seems that companies run around opening accounts with Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Youtube, Blogger, and any other platform that they can get their hands on. Like a wizard brewing a secret potion, they drop in every imaginable technology in hopes that with a wave of a wand and a puff of smoke out will pop a well executed social media strategy, and that the more technology they can add, the more potent the strategy becomes.

This just isn't the case.

While technology is important, it is simply the means that make social media possible. Social media is about people communicating with each other. Its about conversation. When developing a social media strategy, base it on the conversation. Answer the questions "Who is participating in the conversation?" and "What is being talked about?". Then you can decide which of the available technologies will provide you with the best means of executing your strategy.

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