Clients regularly ask me what they should be doing with relation to public social networks like Twitter and Facebook. This is usually a frantic behind the eight ball type discussion generated by social media hype evoking a sense of urgency and haste. I generally respond with a question- what is your marketing and brand strategy as it relates to X (website, application, service, etc.)? And many times they respond that their social media “strategy” is to create some sort of viral behavior through Twitter, Facebook and/or Youtube to generate traffic back to their web property.
Social media is not a strategy but a means! And when thought of as a strategy itself, may drive some traffic and awareness but typically does nothing to generate sustainable affinity to your brand or service. Focus should be on a the strategy that leverages social media outlets and behavior to create social, functional and contextual relevance with your users/customers.
Jan-Willem van Beek wrote an excellent article entitled “Social Media is No Holy Grail” on TheNextWeb that effectively elaborates on these ideas. Put the strategy first and you might be surprised at how your social media perspective changes!