As meeting planners and associations (and the rest of the world) continue to learn about social media, many people are looking for cookie-cutter solutions. They want to attend a webinar and leave knowing exactly what they need to do to implement social media.
For those people, I ask you to think back to your first day at your job. Did you walk out the door at 5 p.m. knowing everything about the company, the clients, the vendors and your co-workers? Did you understand the intricacies of the company’s strategic plan and could recite the mission statement? If you were like most people, you were lucky enough to know the code to the restroom and how to make it back to your desk without getting lost.
Think about social media the same way. Social media is much more than knowing how to set-up a Facebook page or create a Twitter account. It is about creating a strategy that aligns with the goals and objectives of the organization and/or event. While you may be able to mimic the tactics of another organization when it comes to social media, your best results will be when your target your approach to meet the needs of your audience.
New media vehicles and best practices are changing faster than most people can keep up. If you are serious about integrating web 2.0+ into your plans, take the time to learn the trends. Read publications like Mashable and follow thought leaders like Chris Brogan, Jason Falls and Jeff Hurt. Take time to create a plan with solid objectives. But don’t get overwhelmed during the process. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Give your social media plan the time it deserves.