By Craig Regan
Social media shouldn’t be a mystery. The mechanics of the medium might confuse sometimes but it’s basically another communication channel with its own nuances.
One is an ability to engage one-on-one – where both parties are willing and able. Another is the speed it brings to communication, where messages are delivered in close to real-time.
It’s not surprising to read claims that social media is replacing spin doctors in the overblown and drawn-out saga that is the US primaries. That's a piece of spin in itself.
The digital channel’s changing things dramatically but there’s a vested interest on the part of people working with, and in, social media to exaggerate some of its impacts.
Saying that “spin doctors” - a term often used derisively by people who don’t understand it - are out of the equation is naive at best. The professional communicators are using this medium in a different way.
Lighthouse works social media into many of the communication strategies we devise for clients but it’s very much a “horses for courses” approach.
It’s no use employing social media to engage an audience that doesn’t or won’t use it.
Social media also isn’t much worth unless you have a plan that integrates it with all your communications.
Social media requires an investment of time and commitment and it’s vital to have measurable targets.
The trap in any communication is presuming that your message, once delivered to your intended audience, has been voraciously consumed and acted on.
Just as space is a place where no-one can hear you scream, social media is a forum where nobody takes notice if you have nothing to say.
And of course bulldust smells the same if you use 140 characters or 1400.