Yesterday, Richard Goering posted a report on a social media panel at DesignCon. He started with:
"I thought I was fairly knowledgeable about blogging, Twitter, and other aspects of “social media,”
At the end of the report he said:
"Blogging, Twitter and social networking sites may look like simple tools, but to use them effectively you need to think about what you’re trying to accomplish, develop a plan, and stick to it. It’s an exciting new world with all the perils of any frontier."
For decades, we have looked at media as an automatic mechanism. We push out news releases, contributed articles, websites, etc. and suddenly we have a presence among our audience. It hasn't really worked that way for a while. Many companies are turning to social media in hopes that as long as they continue pushing out the same stuff, it will magically give them what they were used to.
What Richard, and hopefully many others learned at DesignCon, is that it isn't magical, it isn't technical. It's a learned ability and it is called communication. You don't learn how to do that in engineering schools or MBA programs and if you don't have the training, then you need to find someone who does.