Are You Good at Social Media?

Photo cred: Hamed Parham
Photo cred: Hamed Parham

Look at the traditional tools like commercials, ads, press releases, newspapers, etc… These are practices and tools that could be taught because they are based on a systemized strategy.  For the most part, they could all be simplified down to lists, rules, and guidelines, seperating the successful from the not so successful by who can be efficiently creative and can execute.

You may be thinking, “Well so can social media.  I’ve seen plenty of expert’s social media strategy organized into lists”.

My point is that social media is simply the set tools that allow you to communicate in a different way…a human way.  You can’t be taught how to communicate in a “real”, human way.  You can advise on where, why and even how to use these tools but you can’t shave down human engagement to a few rules or guidelines and it takes more than a creative edge.

The traditional tools weren’t human; marketing, email, advertising, journalism and even PR.  Many of the tools and “procedures” used by PR professionals were aimed at talking to people, not with them. They’re all tools that allowed for a “systemic” communication.  Communication was meant to be efficient, not “real”. The concepts that have developed around social media tools aim to be both efficient and “real”.

Strategy and systematic approaches are only half of the game.  You have to be real.  Can you communicate with a real customer like a “real human”? Are you good at social media?

This is a post that I’ve had saved as a draft for some time, but haven’t been able to really develop my thoughts until I read Lauren Fernandez’s post and then Beth Harte’s comment on that post. (Surprised that these two got me thinking? I’m not…)

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6 thoughts on “Are You Good at Social Media?

  1. This post is great. A lot of focus has been pulled away from the “real” human interaction aspect of social media in favor of the tools people are using. At this point, people are still trying to figure out the best ways to use social media and I hope that doesn’t change. It wouldn’t be as intriguing or important if there was a single right way to do it.

    This post has inspired me to write a sort of response over on my blog, so thank you.


    1. Scott,

      Thanks for the comment and really glad it inspired you to write a post of your own.

      People and businesses can’t be afraid to try new things…there really isn’t a “right” way to do it, just a way that works for you.

  2. Great post! I can’t stand all of the automation tools that are coming into the social space as it becomes more “mainstream.” I am always telling clients that being real and building a connection with 100 people is SO much better than blindly connecting with 10,000 that don’t even understand what your brand is and why they should care.

    Automation in social media should be outlawed! Maybe that’s just me, though…

  3. I’m a little late to the party here, but I still wanted to briefly weigh in.

    I completely agree with you about needing to be “real” and “human.” That’s why we like SOCIAL media so much – because we can build relationships, not just blast out messages.

    I think this need for real social interaction on social networking sites is why it’s so important to make sure your brand’s online presence has a real person behind it, and why you need to identify that person in some way, rather than just publish content from some mystery source.

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