December 15, 2010

It's not going away - so find your voice!

You may be tired of hearing about social media, the value of Twitter, the need to be social, etc. There is a reason to put effort into this arena, though: it's not going away. Even if it is not the BEST way to reach your target audience, it is a valuable avenue for reaching at least part of a segment.

As we've talked about before, it's all about who you follow and maintaining a consistent voice. You don't need to share the minute details of your day - especially if your audience is primarily clients. Know your audience and share something valuable.

Read this article about sharing valuable information - and how to make yourself re-tweetable.

December 1, 2010

Social Media Is Not A Miracle Worker

At long last, social media has shown its Achilles’ Heel as a communications tool. It happened over the Thanksgiving holiday. A grassroots movement used social media to get people riled up about increasingly intrusive security screening at U.S. airports. Of course, mainstream media jumped into the ring with coverage. The idea was to get folks to refuse a scanning machine and demand a time-consuming pat-down. That would gum up the screening process. The end result – long lines, long waits and headaches galore for TSA. Thus a social media-generated grassroots protest.

Alas, the protest was a flop. Nothing happened. Judging by the news coverage I saw, few if any people demanded the pat-down and security lines moved efficiently.

So what’s the Achilles’ Heel? Quite simply, even powerful social media such as Facebook and Twitter cannot generate action where there is no passion. Flying over the long Thanksgiving weekend can be frustrating and tiring under the best of circumstances. All people want is to get to gradma’s house as quickly and easily as possible, followed by a repeat performance when it’s time to fly home. Who in their right mind would want to make the experience more difficult? Who would want to slow everything down to the point that they might miss a connecting flight and arrive at grandma’s just in time to leave?

No PR tool can get people to do something they don’t want to do. For PR to work, the recipient of the message must have a passion or a reasonable level of interest. The recipient may even want to know what’s in it for them. Clearly, there was nothing in it for the flying public last weekend. Thanksgiving proved that, regardless of its potential, social media is just another tool, not some newfangled wonder that can perform miracles.