Rethinking Social Media for Communication Plans

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In a world dominated by social media outlets like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, incorporating social media into your project’s communication plan may seem like a no-brainer. But it definitely deserves a second thought. Below are three reasons to reconsider including social media in your next communication plan.

Easy to Lose Control of Your Message. Digital outlets provide a route of quick communication, but the benefit of that efficiency can become a drawback when something goes viral in a negative way. With retweets and shares, your original message can become skewed out of context through the game of internet telephone. Traditional communication methods allow you to deliver the message you intend in the context you intend it.

Your Target Audience May Be Harder to Reach. Social media outlets have the potential to reach more people, but that doesn’t mean they will reach the right people. Because of the nature of social media, you usually have to have an “in” with each individual audience member through a follow or being a friend before your tweets and posts ever have a chance of reaching that audience member. Facebook even distinguishes between companies and individuals to make company posts far less likely to appear in a news feed without a paid boost. Mailers, phone calls, and door-hangers provide a much more targeted approach that gives your message a better chance of being heard.

Could Cost More in the Long Run. The free price tag attached to social media outlets can be deceptive. Once you invest time in identifying followers/friends, money in IT support and security to set up your team and protect yourself against hacking, and added dollars to boost your posts, the hidden costs can really add up. Then, once you are set up, you have to continually invest time in updating your selected social media platforms to stay relevant and even visible, as platforms like Facebook can unpublish your page if you don’t maintain activity. Traditional methods take some time and/or money commitment as well, so it’s important to consider all costs involved with each communication tactic.

Social media platforms can provide an extremely helpful and effective method of communication with your audiences, when the outlet is a good fit and your messages are carefully planned and executed. Evaluating these three concepts and how they apply to your specific project will help you decide if your communication plan will be more effective with or without incorporating social media.

Linda Palacios