“We Should Do Something In Social Media”

Every so often a client (or potential client) will come to us and say something like,

"We think we should be doing something in social media."

Whether it’s social media monitoring, a podcast series, blogger relations, community building or a fully-integrated campaign, they’ve heard that social media is the thing to do and they want to be seen to do it.

"It would be good for people to see us using social media."

That’s quite possibly true, but by itself it’s not a reason to invest in social media. As I said recently, social media outreach won’t work for everyone.

These companies may have the budget and the will, but likely not the knowledge of how to approach their public relations (and any associated social media tactics). That’s fine – that’s what agencies like ours (and others) are there for – we’re paid to have that knowledge, and we can help companies to plot the right course through social media.

Here are a few questions companies might want to consider before deciding that the time is right:

  • What are their business objectives?
  • What are their communications objectives?
  • Which social media tactics will help them to meet those objectives?
  • Are they ready for an ongoing commitment to social media tools?
  • Are they ready to speak with the voice of people, rather than that of a faceless company?
  • Might social media fit better into a corporate plan rather than an initiative-specific plan?

The answers to any one of these questions could completely re-shape any pre-defined ideas for that company’s social media plans. They could even scupper them completely.

I know this list of questions is far from complete. What would you add to it?

Dave Fleet
Managing Director and Head of Global Digital Crisis at Edelman. Husband and dad of two. Cycling nut; bookworm; videogamer; Britnadian. Opinions are mine, not my employer's.