Social Media Strategy

Are You Reliant?

December 11, 2009

Tonight I had every intention on writing a post about making support of causes front and center in communications, but something happened, and another topic came across the radar that I feel is worth highlighting.

As I got ready to start writing, my amazing ‘let’s get this done’ tool, Write or Die was offline. It’s been my companion in the past couple of months when I needed it most. It shaved unknown hours out of my schedule by forcing me (or perhaps strongly encouraging me) to write. But tonight – no dice. The site is down. Maybe it’s never coming back up – who knows. The point here is that we should never rely on a specific tool or site to solve all our problems. See the metaphor here?

RoadAhead

The reality is that the web changes at breakneck speed and many tools come and go rapidly. There is a lesson in this for all of us. Attaching ourselves too closely to any specific community, site, tool, etc. is potentially crippling if there is disruption with the service we are accustomed to. Think about it – if you can’t live without your Facebook page or Twitter account, you’re on shaky ground. There are no guarantees that the tools we use by default today will be around or relevant a year or two from now. Can you imagine a permanent #failwhale?

Be prepared, and expect change.

The best thing you can do when approaching the road ahead is to be prepared, and be vigilant in your monitoring of the space overall, but expect change. It’s guaranteed to happen. You’re better off knowing that upfront so there are no surprises when things get interesting. If you’re on the right path, you’ll go back the basics – you may ask yourself questions like ‘what is our goal here’ or ‘how can we provide value to those we want to connect with.’ In cases like this, you’re protected from the loss of any particular site/tool/network. Be prepared for your most important communications channel to be obsolete in a couple of years. You’ll be doing yourself a favor by thinking this way. It doesn’t mean that will necessarily happen, but you never know.

Strategize, Strategize, Strategize.

Make sure you know what you are there for before you get carried away. What is it you are trying to achieve? Do you have specific goals our outcomes in mind? How can you get there with what you have to work with? Make sure you are asking these questions because they are network agnostic. You can easily apply this thinking to whatever network du jour might come along. Make sense?

Write or Die is down tonight, but’s not stopping me from posting. It actually gave me an extra post by being down. 😉 The next post I will definitely pick up on the theme – should Causes be celebrated more? Maybe by then, Dr. Wicked will be back up and kicking my ass once again. In the meantime, think about this – what would you do if your most important communications channel became obsolete? Really think about it.

Let me know what you think in the comments. Thanks for being here!

photo credit: iStock

7 Comments

  • Reply Obi Figueroa December 11, 2009 at 7:49 am

    Hey B. I never ever click on links on FB becuase my laptop is quite old and sometimes can just crash by trying to do too many things at once. But I did click on this “blog”. And I loved it. I actually read it twice cause I had 2 vodkas earlier and, well, it took me a minute to understand the “big picture and/or meaning behind it”. You see, I am actually at a cross roads of a career change which can involve many scenarios of media exchange. Some of those can be a bit scary to me for the mere fact that I have not yet played with them. But your posting synched with me. Again, I have no idea why I clicked on your link, but I'm damn glad I did. Love the picture too. When r u boys visiting? did u get my last uptade about New Zealand?>>>>>>>> I need to sign up to your regular blog………how???

  • Reply Brandon101 December 11, 2009 at 9:43 am

    Hey Obi – thanks for checking out my blog and commenting! The pace at which things change on the web/in social media is staggering, which has positive ramifications, but also raises concerns. The point of this post was to get people to think outside of the usual networks/tools. Many businesses create Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, YouTube channels, etc. seemingly because they are the there and everyone else is doing it. But behind presence in these networks, there should be a strategy that backs it up that is not specifically built around any tool or network.

    We're all addicted to Facebook, but what if 2 years from now it falls out of fashion and another cool thing comes along that captures the attention of the people we are trying to connect with? Businesses, brands, etc. who are using this medium as an outreach channel, customer service opportunity, intelligence-gathering vehicle, etc. must keep this mind or else risk losing their investment or being unable to adapt to the shifting attitudes and behaviors of the people they most need to say connected with if that happens.

    I'll shoot you an email separately about your New Zealand trip – sounds like you had an amazing time. And if you want to subscribe to my blog, there is an email subscription box and RSS feed on the top right of the page. Thanks for connecting here!

  • Reply Sean Wood December 14, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    I had the same thing happen yesterday. Dr. Wicked was down and I couldn't write a blog post. It would be cool if there was a desktop version or even a browser plugin for bloggers.

  • Reply Brandon101 December 14, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    Sean, the site is back up now, and there is a desktop version that you can download. Probably a good idea for us, eh?

  • Reply adamwaid December 15, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Brandon-Great post. Glad you were able to crank-out a good blog post without being forced.

  • Reply Brandon101 December 17, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Thanks Adam! I'm about to post the original one that I had intended to write last week. I look forward to your feedback on it when you have the time. Also, hope you had fun at the #punkATL tweetup last night! I heard it was great.

  • Reply Brandon101 December 17, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Thanks Adam! I'm about to post the original one that I had intended to write last week. I look forward to your feedback on it when you have the time. Also, hope you had fun at the #punkATL tweetup last night! I heard it was great.

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