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The new leaders expose themselves to criticism. They are open to dialogue. That is a new culture, which is the social media culture. —
Even Your Grandma Blogs
Next thing you know, your grandma will want her own blog. My grandma is 94. She hasn’t ask for one yet, but …
Blogging is not only mainstream these days, it’s become almost as annoying as email (in the sense that everyone seems to have one, even if they have nothing to say). Today’s web tools enables anyone with a computer and Internet-access to blog.
A blog is, basically, an online diary or journal that allows other folks to post responses – essentially, to talk back to you. It’s two-way communication. No, it’s 100- or 1000-way communication, depending upon how many folks are talking back to you.
Blogging is only one small part of the phenomena of social media, which many traditional organizations struggle to integrate into their marketing.
In fact, social media and marketing may be an oxymoron. In social media, the moment you start selling, you lose your audience. Why? Because the audience can talk back to you. And, worse, ignore you altogether.
We recently started another business, creating a social media web site for new nurses (www.RealityRN.com). We also created a parallel RealityRN strategy for Facebook. We launched a group on Facebook using an account of one of our nurse advisors to promote the main site.
We have on staff a young woman whose expertise in Facebook – as a user – is unparalleled, and she kept us from making many of the stupid mistakes that someone like me (middle-aged white guy) would tend to make when trying to “do social media.”
The biggest lesson: you can promote to a social media group, but you can’t sell. People will only join a group if it connects emotionally with who they are. They will never join a group that is thinly designed to sell something. If you are on Facebook, type in “Hey Docs, Nurses Are Not Nurse Maids” and you’ll pull up our group. I think more than half of the group (700-plus members) is from Europe, Australia, and Canada.
Social media has largely unwritten rules of social etiquette. The most important strategy in social media is this: just do something. And begin to make mistakes so that you can learn as quickly as possible. Don’t feel as if you have to get it right the first time.
And maybe not every organization should make a foray into social media. My favorite line of all times came from an old mentor: an opportunity is not a mandate. Stated another way: just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
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