According to cnbc.com, Americans spent 121 billion minutes on social media in just one month, July 2012. (Read Full Article Here) Clearly, it is not a fad, something teens do between Justin Bieber videos. In fact, a whole generation is growing up with social media being their primary source of information and preferred method of communication. This is critical to businesses and organizations today. If you don’t engage in social media, you will go the way of Napster.
OK, we’re in agreement that social media is here to stay, even if the channel changes. Whereas MySpace once dominated, it is now declining. Foursquare will soon have to re-brand itself as ASquareAndAHalf. The point is, some flavor of social media will continue to be popular, and organizations need to be a part of it. But which one?
Organizations need to determine which channel of social media is appropriate for their use. It’s impossible to attempt to stay on top of them all, so you need to choose. Such decisions should be driven by the publics the organization serves and their capacity to manage the social media sites well. I struggled to find much organizational use for Pinterest, for example. “What organization needs to pin pictures to a site?!?” But then I thought of my wife’s business, a costume design business named Tulle & Dye. Everything they do is visual and can be captured somehow in a picture. This could be a channel they choose to establish. I searched a little bit more, and came up with the following:
These are companies who do Pinterest right and have large followings. They are on the right channel.
On the other hand, Tulle & Dye has no use for a site like YouTube. They simply do not have relevant video content to warrant establishing and maintaining this channel. The should surf for another channel.
Ultimately, this relates directly to our Week 1 topic- adding value in your social media posts. First, you need to establish a following. Then, you need to provide them with a reason to continue following, essentially becoming advocates for you. Google Analytics can help you understand which channels are adding value to your organization. If the time you devote to a particular social medium is not creating lift for your organization, pick up the remote and