MAD Perspectives Blog

 The Social Media Kaleidoscope

Peggy Dau - Wednesday, March 07, 2012

All it takes is a little twist to shift the picture in a kaleidoscope. Your digital media strategy is like a kaleidoscope with a variety of targets, participants, content and platforms. The challenge is in how to adapt to the shifts. Sharon Salzberg said "Life is like an ever shifting kaleidoscope. A slight change and all patterns alter." Social media is influencing the shape of new patterns everywhere.

Think about a kaleidoscope. If one crystal shifts, the whole pattern changes.  Each pattern is beautiful in its own way, yet we prefer some of them more than others. But, we can never get back to that one special pattern. Social media has the same impact. Each statement we make, each comment we receive shifts market perception. Sometimes these shifts are minor while other times these shifts are dramatic!  Fear of a changing pattern has inhibited many companies from embracing social media in a meaningful way. I would argue that a different perspective, is not necessarily a bad perspective. We can learn from our customers, takes lessons from disappointments and adapt to new perspectives.

The plethora of established (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) and emerging (Pinterest) social platforms can create confusion as to which networks can best help businesses achieve their goals. As always, it's about alignment of objectives. Shifting markets, expectations and technologies force a shift in the use of content and technology. However, the constant is in defining a strategy that is reviewed on a regular basis. Any strategy can be tweaked based on its success or failure. This tweaking can be considered the twisting of the kaleidoscope.  

Your aim is to find the right mix of traditional communication tools, online video, social media or other solutions to share your valuable content. My kaleidoscope shifts a little bit every day as I try different communication methods, learn from my clients, listen to their customers and adapt their stories to achieve results. I have followed new tweets, unlinked contacts, liked and unliked Facebook pages and adapted my blog to bring insight and value. I still work with clients developing traditional content such as data sheets, powerpoint and white papers. Their audiences demand it. What does your customers need from you? How does your kaleidoscope shift?

What's your perspective?