It’s a funny old (social) world…

…But are we ready to commit the time?

Getting ready to meet the great and the good at the Convention on Social Media tomorrow sets me thinking…

“Businesses currently allocate 6% of their marketing budgets to social media, an allotment they expect to increase to 10% in the next year and to 18% over the next 5 years” according to a survey undertaken at Duke University’s  School of Business for The American Marketing Association.

That’s all very well, but who is going to blog, tweet, stream and control social media writing for these businesses I wonder? The existing IT team? The Ad Agency? Student interns? Or the Chairman’s grandson?

70 hours a week on-line

If, as a professional web copywriter, I spend 70+ hours a week on-line, I wonder how long it will take an in-house communications exec to get to grips with how to write for Social Media? And, more importantly, if businesses have set aside sufficient hours for said employee to communicate on line?

What happens if the Tweets, Blogs and Posts have to be monitored before going live? (It’s bad enough getting a client to give approval to send out a Press Release with a week’s notice, so how are oligarchs going to control each cyber sentence?)

Trust me. I’m almost a writer.

Presumably, it’s a matter of trust. Companies will have to trust a social blogger how to write a blog, or how to tweet. In the right way. At the right time. Which assumes rather a lot, doesn’t it? For example, it assumes an understanding of the brand, the marketing strategy, the over-arching business goals, the target audience. Not to mention the USPs, the vocal tone and the House Style.

All of which can easily be grasped by the student intern, ad agency or IT department. Not.

So who are the natural communicators?

Those already charged with your Communications: your in-house PR team or PR agency, freelance new media journalists, specialist web writers. The people least able to write for Social Media are those you would least like to face a team of news reporters. That rules out anyone pedantic, dull, monotone or hesitant. (Probably anyone in Finance, Operations or Strategy. So that’s the Board of Directors out.)

Are Business Owners natural Social Media types? Let’s take the Dragons from Dragons’ Den as an example, whilst naming no names. One is eloquent and witty. One has a poor grasp of language and an irritating inability to spell. One is tiresomely self publicising. One is ok but nothing special. And the one I really want to read doesn’t tweet or blog. (You work it out.)

Maybe you are eloquent and witty? Maybe you run a global business? (Maybe your name is James Caan?) So write away… your audience awaits and will be happy to judge.

Alternatively, sign up for some Social Media training. V-Social runs a series of workshops and offers a useful programme which explains how Social Media should be integrated into the wider marketing mix.

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