We like to think that social media is an excellent tool—when used in a smart and focused way. Social media platforms offer a great way to keep clients, colleagues and friends informed and entertained. They can also keep an organization top of mind with key constituencies while strengthening connections and making them more frequent.

The Circle by Dave Eggers is a novel that takes on this “of the moment” topic. It was recently released as a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson and offers a very different and frankly chilling vision of social media giants controlling and monitoring personal information—not always for the good. The Circle is a fictitious company that can be compared to Google, Facebook and Twitter. It creates addictive tools that eat away at people’s freedom and privacy. The public willingly gives up their right to privacy for the fun of participating in an internet society.  The story describes how the main character, Mae, who works for The Circle, becomes increasingly involved. Here is an excerpt:

“One, two, three, four, finally nine different monitors, she must answer customers’ questions while monitoring their satisfaction on a 100-point scale, fill out online surveys, rate people’s photos, respond to preference choices piped into her earpiece, ‘zing’ out newsy tidbits about her activities, swap messages with ‘friends,’ and send ‘smiles’ or ‘frowns’ to help various social causes.”

The novel illustrates how real privacy and intimacy can be replaced by a synthetic community of “friends” controlled from afar by The Circle. Yikes!!!

But there are reasons to leverage social media. Here are some tips that will make it “good” for you and your organization—where you are in control, not The Circle!

  • Publish your content across multiple media platforms
    Website, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.
  • Make an “editorial calendar” and plan/schedule posts in advance
    Use company/product news to drive content.
  • Leverage your entire staff as much as possible to collaborate
    The first step in “social” is to ensure your team is “socialized” with your platforms.
  • Experiment with different images and calls to action
    Try catchy subject lines in articles or eye-catching photos across platforms.
  • Monitor all your social media marketing from a single dashboard
    A variety of social media management platforms are available.
  • Monitor, measure and analyze all your results
    Track and change strategy based on your results.
  • Use pictures and videos as much as possible
    This encourages sharing by your followers—the true magic dust of social media.
  • Leverage the power of community
    Join communities and create your own.
  • Take social media seriously

Social media…friend or foe? It’s all in how well you nurture your relationship.

First published in our August 2017 IT Radix Resource newsletter