One of the most challenging things about social media, Web 2.0, or whatever you want to call this digital revolution in which we live, is keeping track of all of the tools, tips, and resources at our disposal.
The list grows daily, and with it, so do the predictions that many of these sites won't make it much past 2008. So that brings to mind a key question:
How much of your social media strategy is actually dependent upon these tools?
Put another way, Jeremiah Owyang warns, stop fondling the hammer and focus on the house. I couldn't agree more.
All too often, I've seen clients - at least those that are savvy enough to already be following the social media space - become fixated on a tool or a tactic. They come to us ready to execute a project centered around one particular site or tool. As Todd Defren so succinctly puts it, Beware the GMOOT ("Get me one of those!" - coined by Scott Donaton).
What's important is to step back and have them clarify (for themselves just as much as for us) what it is they're trying to accomplish. Once we understand the goal, we can draft the proper strategy. Then and only then is it reasonable to look for tools.
Now don't get me wrong - there are times when it's perfectly okay to come up with a new & innovative way to use a tool you're already using. But I'd argue that at that point, you've already outlined your goals and developed a strong stategy (You do have a strategy, don't you??).
But without the proper framing in place - the strategy & goals - you're going to have a house that simply won't stand; or at least one that won't fit together properly. What's more, if all of your solutions are tailored around technology and tools and not around a good solid plan, what's left for you if these providers suddenly shutter their doors in 2008?