A couple weeks ago, I was excited to come across this Dictionary of Social Media Terms. It’s an excellent resource for social media newbies and also a great guide to provide to a C-suite that needs to understand the difference between a “klog” and a “clog.”
It’s been impressive to watch which social media terms have surfaced as buzzwords over the past couple years. Given the dramatic impact of social media upon communication trends, it is of course important that there be some level of agreed upon terminology to help guide, shape and advance how we discuss various aspects of social and online communication.
That being said, it is imperative that we keep the big picture in mind with regard to what all clients and business owners care about most – how is social media going to help a business or organization accomplish their goals?
I stumbled upon an excellent post from Amber Naslund who raises a similar concern about us all beginning to talk in circles without properly articulating why we use social media in the first place. It’s a great reminder that as far as social communication has progressed, it’s still the wild west in terms of defined potential.
Arguably, one overarching example of that potential is to look at how social media is being utilized to help foster personal connections in a more efficient manner than before. Are you spending less time conducting direct mailings? Finding you don’t need to attend every networking event? Discovering that it’s become much easier to showcase you or members of your company as industry thought leaders?
Social media does not fit into a nice square box simply because humans are dynamic, interactive organisms that connect and communicate with one another in a variety of different ways. Any approach to integrating online communication for the purpose of business needs to acknowledge and embrace that social media relies on creativity and finding new avenues to accomplish your goals. If you start with a goal in mind or identify a problem that needs resolution (however large or small) and social media helps reach that goal or solve that problem, that’s success.
Angela Connor added a nice comment to Amber’s post, noting:
The best thing an individual or organization can do is think long and hard about their own goals. Come up with a mission statement of what you want to accomplish and forget about all of the phrases. Just do the things that help you meet your goals and fulfill your mission on a daily basis.
Well put Angela. There are of course evolving best practices and case studies of failed engagement online but there is still a lot of trial and error involved in seeing what works best for your goals. Look past the buzzwords and stay focused on the big picture.