Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Build a Social Story

I was reading a great piece this morning by Dave Armano entitled “Kill Your Website.” He writes about how his blog has become a much more valuable (and cheaper) tool in connecting with his audience. So, he shut his website down.

It’s important to keep in mind that Dave is a well-respected leader in the design world, and his audience is highly interactive. So, a blog is the perfect platform for his communication channel. But it's obviously not necessarily right for every brand.

It made me think of how many of the small to midsized businesses that we work with don’t have the same audience engagement level as a personal brand like Dave or a passion-crazed company like Apple. But that’s okay. The important thing is that we evaluate our brand’s aptitude and commitment level to the “conversation,” as well as their customers’ social behavior. That way, we can make grounded recommendations. Too often I’ve seen agencies suggest building social communities or high commitment platforms without any research or foresight. Sure, gut instincts are still important. But with all the research that’s easily available, it’s not solely the responsible approach.

As a strategically-grounded shop, we try to educate our clients on focusing on plans not platforms or tools. Engagement not websites. Interaction not blogs. Communication not Twitter. Community not Facebook. We try to steer them away from getting caught-up in all of “the latest and greatest” social media whiz-bang and focus on their Social Story as a whole. It starts by defining goals and then figuring out the best way to facilitate the relationship with their customers.

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