Avoiding Social Media Mission Creep

Avoiding Social Media Mission Creep

(The following is a slight rewrite of a post from another, now defunct blog from long ago. However, many of the sentiments and ideas still fit.)

Currently, I'm working on a presentation entitled Sherlock Holmes & the Social Media Mystery, presented via Dabble, and flashed back to an incident at an earlier Net Tuesday meeting.

After advising those in attendance that their communications should tend to flow from their mission, a member of the audience begged to differ.

“I disagree with that,” she stated. “It’s not as important to be focused on the mission as it is to be human.”

(I am paraphrasing, in all fairness)

Although I countered that both were possible (and that the ideal is to be genuine), , it did get me thinking about the state of social media - more specifically, how people are regarding their participation in it.

As I like to believe, we all have a mission - everything from “I want to get a job” to “I want to make the world a better place to live in.” Whether we talk about it in a personal or professional sense, our engagements in the online (and offline) world need to reflect that mission.

However, there has been (and continues to be) some trending towards people who are focused less on the incredible things they do, and more on the “wonderful people” they are. Admittedly, although this has been predominant in the business world (specifically marketing), this trend is slowly and surely creeping into the non-profit/social good realm.

Just to clarify, when we engage on behalf of our causes, whether we’re doing it as employees or as private citizens, it is important to be human: to not just parrot press releases, or use “pre-approved” language. Social media is a great communications tool…

…but let’s not forget that social media isn’t an end in and of itself, but a means to an end. Without a mission, no matter what the communications channel, we run the risk of forgetting that what we say - and why we’re saying it - is just as important as how and where we speak.

Because as we're trying to build our communities, it's importantly that we speak the same language...and that we avoid the temptation to creep away from our mission and drift towards more meaningless communication.

But what do you think? Please feel free to leave your comments below. In addition, you can always contact me via Linked In and my personal web site.

Thanks for reading!

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