PR Niblets

Friday, September 24, 2010

Blogjam – Or How I’m Becoming a Social Media Convert (kicking and screaming, of course)

The ups and downs of social media, whether it be blogging, tweeting, playing foursquare or Facebooking really consist of two things: having something to say, and saying it effectively and regularly. As you can see from our Feintuch blog, this is a challenge even in the PR space. It’s also a primary argument I have with some of my clients and certainly my colleagues on occasion.

I think social media is great! Admittedly, I’m a luddite about it, but I truly see it as a tool that, when used effectively, can really propel a company or even a person forward in the public eye. And it certainly has a downside, as over-tweeting becomes tedious, people lose interest and certainly the effectiveness of the communication can be diminished (same as putting out a press release on a daily or even weekly basis).

But what happens when you have nothing to blog? Or things pile up (right Henry?) and you don’t have time to blog, or your social media budget runs dry and your blogger doesn’t work for free? What if you’re a small development-stage company that doesn’t really have any ongoing news?

The ups and downs of this 24/7 medium that we have created are that even if you have nothing to say, and no time in which to say it, you still need to be strategically part of the conversation for your industry. It’s the way people are going to find you, and they’re going to find you. But it’s also a way they’re going to find you relevant.

So if you're going to use it, it’s imperative you say something strategic and constructive: What’s happening in the industry that impacts your company? What’s happening locally that affects your employees or customers? What trade show or financial conference are you going to be attending next week? Or even respond to what others are saying (e.g., about healthcare reform) through a repost or commentary. Blog it, tweet it. But keep updating it and keep it on the regular (maybe not daily, maybe weekly or monthly).

I admit I may have changed my tune a little – even as I write this. Maybe it does make sense for the smaller companies to blog or tweet too. Maybe their having a Facebook page with regular notes about issues impacting their business, even if they don’t have ongoing news, does make sense. But it doesn’t make sense if it’s not regular, reliable, strategic and appropriate.

And yes, we need to continue to practice what we preach here at FC, too. Especially me. Time will tell, and so will the results for our clients. Christa, Savannah, I think you may have a convert on your hands...

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