I’m worried about social media channels.
Because I wonder whether there is an increasing tendency to use them without thought.
What I mean by this is that social media channels are here to stay. But the particular ones we have at the moment are merely the latest examples of services and software available to us.
Twitter and Facebook in particular now seem to entrenched that we might have forgotten two things.
First: they are the means by which we create and nurture relationships. They are not ends in themselves. Otherwise they are merely the latest “noise making mechanisms”. And in the same way that with older media PR practitioners ended up having to fight for editorial space, we might well end up simply having to shout louder than the next person across social media channels.
Second: today’s social media companies and channels might not survive. Or better alternatives might appear (make that probably will appear). So let’s not create “Twitter” strategies and programmes when what (I hope) we really mean is “let’s work out those with whom we want to create and develop a meaningful relations” and then work out the best channels for this purpose.
Otherwise we might wake up one morning and discover that our primary means of communicating have changed or gone completely.
Social media channels are great at helping us communicate because they are immediate, authentic and connect us directly with those with whom we want to talk.
But relationships are built on trust, understanding, dialogue, influence, and some kind of shared need (I have something to sell, and it might help you solve the problem you have).