From Where I Sit

What was I thinking?

For many years I thought of blogs and social websites like MySpace and Facebook as a sign that some people just had too much time on their hands. There was already too much information out there on the Internet, so why would I want to add to a wiki? But as I delved into social media from a business and marketing perspective, I started to ask myself a different question—what was I thinking?

Yes, social media can suck time faster than a Dyson vacuum. But it can also give a pretty big bang for your buck. One of my LinkedIn groupmates polled her Webinar attendees and found that 45% learned about the session through Twitter.  One utility company ditched its old website and used the WordPress blog platform for its new site to enhance its interactivity. Others, like the BC Government’s public services website, have taken a social media approach to tell their stories on a standard web platform. And the Children’s Hospital of Atlanta is using video stories on its website to solve staff recruitment problems.

There are definitely right ways to use social media and ways that don’t achieve the business aims that I’ve talked about in my post on social media. First, you have to want to communicate. And by that I mean an honest and open give-and-take of information about what people care about—how it affects them (whatever “it” happens to be). More conversational, less jargon. Second, you have to want to listen, and respond. The only way to control the conversation and what is said about your organization is to be part of the conversation. And for that, you have to get into the social media game. Call me to find out how to make social media work for your organization.

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