Every time people come up to my office, call me or send me an email asking for a Twitter strategy, a Facebook strategy, or a YouTube strategy, I get an uncontrollable urge to rebuild their outer hull with the help of a pneumatic hammer and an icepick.
Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and tutti quanti are no strategies, they are not even tactics. They are simple tools, channels to convey a message. It’s simple. Think about an overall objective, build an overall strategy, and look what tactics and tools you need to achieve your goal. Success is often not in the little details, but in big holistic, structural approaches like the planning of your community engagement :-).
When rightly integrated in an overall marketing and communications approach, digital and social media will help move the needle in a nice and measurable way, but are not a miracle recipe. No social campaign can make a crappy product look shiny, and no YouTube video can correct a manifest lack of vision. Success comes first with companies who value their audiences, and invest in the courtesy to listen to their market, and respond and act upon it.
Building a social capital requires listening first, and adequate responding after. It asks for building mutual understanding and trust. In short, it plays on the middle to long run. It’s not a quick-win/harvest soon methodology. Like most investments, you’re in for the long haul… you will get longstanding dividends. Just a quick dip in social media waters to test the temperature will not do, and is not done… As social engagement plays out on the longer run, you cannot pull out early of the game. You commit, or not. Like there is no way to be a “bit pregnant”, there is no way of being “a bit social”.
Yoda said it wisely: “Do, or do not… there is no try!”.