It’s Not About Technology – It’s Something More Difficult

“Concentrate on the relationships, not the technologies.” – Charlene Li & Josh Bernoff, authors of Groundswell.

When I’m speaking to groups I like to ask the question, “Why is your station on facebook?”  The answer is always surprising.  It usually comes down to (a) So we can let people know what the station is doing, or (b) Because everyone else does.  Neither one of them is very strategic.

Social networking like Facebook isn’t an excuse to use a new technology to shout the same old  message at your listeners.  It requires updating and freshening, something that can be automated like voice-tracking.  It requires thought and conversation with your fans, not “imaging.”  But even before that, it takes some thought to develop a strategy, so your operation is intentional.

Facebook has to do with relationships, and let’s face it, we’ve all learned that relationships take time and attention.  You have to pay attention to a relationship, not take it for granted.  Oh yeah, it helps if you pay attention to people when you want a relationship too.  Much more difficult than, say, voice tracking or slogans.

The other thing I ask that causes some confused looks is, “So you have a Facebook page, do you have more P1 listeners because of it?”  No one seems to know.    No one seems to have thought it through, because few know what Facebook can do for them.  Too soon, too much to do, too little interest in strategy.

Is your Facebook designed to increase awareness, build loyalty, and is it a research tool to learn about your fans?  It could be one or more of those, because they’re all legitimate uses.  But if you’re not intentional, and don’t have a strategy, it’s doing you no good at all.