As I sat in on Social Media Surgery Dundee last week, I had an epiphany: anyone can do social media, but social media strategy however is a skill, an art, even.

This isn’t exactly a ground-breaking statement, I admit, but it’s one that I think those of us who are involved in advocating use of social media sometimes forget. Just do it, sure, but do it with purpose.

I’d never class myself as an expert, I know what I don’t know, but I am skilled. With about 14 year’s experience in communications and marketing, most of which has been in health and social care, I’m one of ‘them’. You know, the comms-pro-turned-social-media-lover. But that’s the thing about social media, it’s not just for comms pros, marketing practitioners, IT professionals, or (quietly please) librarians. Social media is for everyone. Just give them the chance.

Attendees treated to a walkthrough of how to create a Facebook page @SocMedSurgery Dundee - image courtesy of @digialitay.

Attendees treated to a walkthrough of how to create a Facebook page @SocMedSurgery Dundee – image courtesy of @digialitay.

And what’s fascinating is how social media has for me become an intersection, a melting pot of learning, one that brings together a range of people through common desire to interact and offer the chance to voice opinion in ways never before possible.

Merging at this junction are issues including communication, technology, digital connectivity, participation and exclusion, challenges not just in measuring stats but outcomes too, behaviour change, phsychology, and literacy and inequality – social media shines a light on society and reflects it back. Our problems, pleasures, pastimes, and pains, all there if you care to notice. As one quote that passed through my Twitter feed recently highlighted, social media doesn’t create negativity, it uncovers it (~Jay Baer).

Back in the surgery we sat sharing thoughts with people in attendance on the process, the logic, the plan, the creativity, and the opportunities and options that social media can offer. And of course, the transition between online and offline, between traditional and new types of media, and how to take people with you on that journey.

I learn all the time chatting about, using, and engaging through social media. Anyone can get social. But social media strategy? That’s a skill.

Take it easy

Photo Credit: ePublicist via Compfight cc