Steve Lee and the Thoughtful Practice of SoMe

Steve Lee, APR and Chief Pathfinder for Quicksilver Interactive Group, spoke to the strategic communications course at the Mayborn this week. As a digital communications expert in the Dallas area, Lee had a gold mind of knowledge and examples of successful social media campaigns. Especially fascinating was the work he’s done for the AA Center and the local Ronald McDonald House.

Buddha on Facebook? (Source)
Having a small, very centralized graduate seminar type class (seven students + one professor = educational nirvana) allowed me to ask Lee specific questions and receive valuable feedback.  I went with a simple, loaded question:

How do I get better at SoMe? In my current job, I manage social platforms and direct messaging, along with run events, and engage in donor relations, and photograph, and etc. All of this is tied together but I find myself asking how can I improve my writing, improve my engagement, and improve my knowledge of the platforms? 

I, of course, did not say this as eloquently as spending a few minutes at the keyboard allows. I was met with the response: “It seems like you might not have time to think.” Lee’s advice was to focus on one platform at a time, and separate strategy from technical skill.

Lee’s advice, along with all of the information on social media strategy offered in class, gave me a lot to think about. I set out to meditate on the topic.  I kept in mind that social media planning isn’t much different that communication planning. As I wrote last week, when planning for social media communications, business goals have to be kept in mind. I kept in mind that I was probably overthinking the matter, and needed to breathe a little.

Then, I had social media sense of enlightenment. 

How do I SoMe better?  I have to SoMe thoughtfully!

I jotted down a few notes on how to do that and set out to plan my activities for the next week while observing the lesson I learned.  

Thoughtful Practice of SoMe
Be Aware. 

Jumping on the latest platform is not a good use of time if you do not fully understand it or it will not help your business and communications objectives. If you have nothing to share on Pinterest, don’t just pin for pinning’s sake.   

Keep up with the industry by reading. Mashable, Gigaom, and Social Media Today are some of my tech favorites. It also helps to read for fun, so go ahead and escape with the new issue of The Atlantic.

Be compassionate. 

An app doesn’t entitle you to forget you’re speaking to people. Identify your audience and give them a personality.  Write online as you are speaking to people. 

Be beautiful. 

Every tweet or post is an opportunity to engage in the practice of concise writing. Say what you mean. Say it nicely. 

Be authentic. 

Keep your brand identity in check.  Keep your listeners in mind and respond with your attention and consistency. 

Have Fun. 

                It is, after all, social media.

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