Yes, there are things social media can’t do. Social media is not a solution, or a sure bet.

Social Media Can't

Social media can’t:

1. Substitute for marketing strategy.
A Twitter campaign or a Facebook page that announces your events or plans is not an evangelization or advocacy strategy.

2. Succeed without leadership buy-in.
Social media requires a way of thinking that includes willingness to listen to the base, make changes based on feedback and trust other Vincentians to talk to clients and allies.
Leadership has to want to change and share authority.

3. Be viewed as a short-term project.
Social media is not a one-shot deal. It’s a long-term commitment to openness, experimentation and change that requires time to bear fruit.

4. Produce meaningful, measurable results quickly.
One of the complaints about social media is that it can’t be measured. But there are many things that can be measured, including engagement, sentiment and whether increased traffic leads to more involvement. Those results can’t be produced or measured in the short term. Like good public relations, social media outreach often produces its best results in the second and third year.

5. Be done without a realistic budget.
Building a site that incorporates interactivity, allows user-generated content doesn’t come cheap from anyone who knows what they are doing. Even taking free software like WordPress and making it function as an effective interactive site, creating style sheets that integrate with the group’s branding, takes more than time. That takes skill, experience, and money.

6. Guarantee influence.
Unless your effort can pass the “who cares” test — and most simply can’t — your social media efforts will fall flat. And unless you know how to drive traffic to your video, blog, event, etc., you’ll have little more than an expensive field of dreams.

7. Be done by “kids” who “understand social innately”
You can climb Mount Kilaminjaro without a sherpa guide, but why would you? Experience and perspective can make the trip easier, or even save your life. Companies trying to run social media without experienced consultants waste time, money and reputation on their efforts. And then, sadly, many decide that this new-fangled approach doesn’t work.



Adapted from “Ten Things Social Media Can’t Do.


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