When it Comes to Social Media, Where Do We Begin?

Apr 28

“Where do we begin?”

This is a question we see a lot in the social media space, particularly with agencies and organizations that have limited time and resources. And as with all questions related to the social Web, the answer depends on who you ask.

Some believe it starts with defining your audience, while others think it’s best to consider which platform works best for your message, and then move forward from there.

Last night, I moderated a panel for Social Media Club D.C. that addressed this and other questions within the context of the public health environment.

Panelist Alex Bornkessel, a social marketer and digital strategist for iQ Solutions, stressed the importance of defining “what success looks like for you” before jumping into the social media space, including establishing digital goals that make sense within your broader organizational mission. Panelist Danielle Leach of Inspire echoed Bornkessel’s comments, but cautioned that marketers shouldn’t “strategic plan your social media engagement to death – let some of it grow organically.”

All of the panelists agreed on two key points, put nicely by panelist Ted Eytan, MD, a family physician with Kaiser Permanente:

“When starting to use social media, there is a lot of conversation and education that needs to take place to make it work.”

I couldn’t agree more. While this seems like such a simple sentiment, too many organizations are still jumping on the social media bandwagon just because it’s “the next big thing.” To keep a clear focus on meeting your audience’s needs, you need to establish a sound set of goals, objectives and strategies to organize efforts before implementation. And this often requires educating colleagues or clients about what digital goals look like, and how to ensure that they ladder back to the bigger picture.

What do you think? Were our panelists on the mark? Where should social marketers begin when entering the social media space?

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 28th, 2011 at 4:47 pm and is filed under HCSM, Ogilvy Washington, Public Health, Social Marketing, Social Media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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