Sloppy, Choppy; Social Media Messaging

By | July 15, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Ask yourself some very important questions around your social networking status..Jose Palomino covers them here:

As I look out at what is happening in social media in the past 3-5 years, it seems to me that very little of what is going on in social media can ever be accused of is being disciplined, structured, focused, or otherwise planned and programmed in any way.

Proponents would argue that it is exactly what makes social media dynamic, exciting and vibrant. They say this is precisely where traditional advertising falls short and fails by comparison. There is truth to this assessment. No doubt social media’s free form nature makes it possible for a different kind of energy to take place. But this doesn’t obviate the need for some rigor. That is, if what you’re aiming for is a professional, marketing or some kind of revenue result.

You would never run traditional media without a plan, both based on timing, audience, frequency and other similar levers that would be useful to control and focus your energies. There is really no good reason why many of those same principles cannot be applied to social media. Why wouldn’t you start with a few key questions:

  • – Who is your audience?
  • – Who are the competing voices reaching out to that audience?
  • – What is that audience looking for?
  • – Who are you trying to connect with?
    • – Are they very busy people?
    • – Are they college students?
    • – Are they Senior Executives?
    • – Are they other people like you?

All too often we find that venues like twitter are only connecting people with the hope of connecting. They are basing their success on a body count and not on delivery or processing any cogent or relevant content that might be useful to a specific target audience. The thought seems to be to have more followers even if it is just you following 10,000 people to get 10,000 people to follow you. What is more important is to have followers who actually look forward to and connect with you via your tweets.

In the broader area of Linked-in and Facebook updates, those venues allow for a more structured approach than Twitter and lend themselves to more planning. By planning I don’t mean in the way you’d plan a radio, newspaper or other traditional media campaigns, or even a PPC campaign – but more planning around what you want to connect and who you want to connect it too. Of course, blogging is a more direct approach – allowing you to directly say what and to whom you want to say it to.

But what is often lacking in all this is message clarity or more specifically a messaging plan of some kind.

What is the one core message, theme, or things you most want to be identified with? This allows people to associate your blog, your tweetstream, your Facebook and LinkedIn updates with “Oh, that’s Jason Wentworth! He’s the guy all things Apple” or maybe “Mary Jones really understands what is happening in fashion” or some other domain expertise because you have message clarity.

Message Clarity: When you’ve laid out your value proposition in such a way that all your various connections point to your target audience, address it and bring it home in a significant way.

Ask yourself

  • – Do I have a clear view of who my target audience is?
  • – Or if you’re doing social media for a larger company- do we have a really good idea of who we are aiming this particular initiative towards?
  • – Do we know what they are looking for and where they are looking?
  • – And do we know why our content in its various forms is most relevant, urgent, or important to them?

Photo Credit: Hiking Artist

Bio: Jose Palomino

Jose Palomino is President of g2m Group, Inc, and author of Value Prop; he blogs at Jose helps business leaders take their ideas, products and services to market with greater consistency, speed and impact. He has worked extensively with industry leaders including IBM, SAP, Accenture, Chase and Citicorp. A proven strategist, dealmaker and presenter, Jose makes strategic marketing practical and immediately usable. With an MBA from Villanova University, he serves as President of the Executive MBA Alumni Association and is also a Vistage International Speaker.

  • Nathan Egan

    Great post – great insight. Strategy and structure are key to unlocking the revenue potential inside of all this madness.