As soon as Google announced their Buzz product, I started getting the calls from clients about the implications to their Twitter strategy. I will not go into details on Buzz or the prognosis for it. I will leave that to my colleagues who specialize in that area. But it did point out something interesting to me; namely that you should not have a Twitter strategy (or Facebook or Foursquare or any other social media site for that matter). What you need is a Social Media strategy, independent of the particular site.
What I mean is, and I have said this before, these sites come and go. Today’s hot site is shutting down before you know it. The little up and coming site that you never heard of will have 100 million users by year end. If you get too tied to a particular site, you end up with the problem that clients are calling me on. When a new one comes along, you don’t know what to do. Do I switch or stay? Do I support both? Neither? Something else?
The key is to ask the following question: what am I trying to accomplish with my social media strategy? Is it to reach new customers? Is it to open a new market? Is it to provide better service? Is it to find out about issues faster? All are valid, and there are many more. But if you can’t answer that first question, you have no way to evaluate events like the Buzz announcement yesterday.
Is Buzz right for you? Maybe. Maybe not. But it won’t be the last of the social media announcements that your firm will need to deal with. Set you eyes at the strategy level. Then the tactical issue of which sites will fall into place.