Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Four Requirements for Successful Social Communication

The hooha about the new medium in town is long gone. People are turning to subjects like big data and still looking for ROI. In whatever shape or form it takes in the future, social communications are here to stay.

Over the years in this blog, I - and hundreds of others engaged in the subject of social media - have overlapped each others' messages about what's important in establishing your social media presence. I hope by now that experience has taught you what all of the lists and slideshows and doodles and videos in the world could not: that if you want to use social media effectively, successfully, you must fulfill these four requirements:

  • Time
  • Commitment
  • Real Content
  • Care


If the hundreds of thousands of discarded Twitter accounts and Facebook pages are any measure, most of us have learned that it takes time to become an overnight success. Sure, some people's content has gone viral but even Stanford's d school can't give you a formula for doing the same. For most of us, if we are lucky, we will spend a career turning out solid performances, but never have a break-out hit.

And that's okay.

Your small nonprofit isn't showbiz, and if you put in the time to getting to know your on-line community, even if you don't become an overnight sensation, you can build a respectably-sized audience for your message. On the internet it's seldom a case of 'if you build it, they will come,' but more of a case of 'they will come, after a while.'


Social communications isn't something you can toss at the nearest warm body. It has to be invested with personality, passion, and a certain amount of perspicuity (irony, don't you love it?), some strategy and some tactics. It needs to live with someone who gets it and likes it. After all, you don't want to put the person who hates customers in charge of customer relations.

Real Content

Conversation, not commercials disguised as news. Honest ownership of errors and celebration of wins. It's not the agency that's important, but the people the agency serves. Their victories, losses, and challenges are shared and everyone learns and benefits.


Taking care to get it right. Taking care of the stories you have been entrusted with. Taking care of the community you build through social communications and continuing care in nurturing its growth and seeing it through difficult times. Respecting those you serve, those you work with, and those who disagree with you. When you truly care, it shows in your communications.

Time, Commitment, Real Content, and Care. If your social communications have these, you're already a success.

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1 comment :

Unknown said...

Really enjoyed this concise summary :)