I just had a really fascinating conversation with Patrick Pho, local social media guru and We Love DC author, and one of the many topics we covered was the perception that working with social media for your job means that you get paid to play around on Facebook and tweet about whatever. Which I already do, so why not get paid for it, right?
Unfortunately, no. What using social media in a professional setting requires is some understanding of traditional PR tactics, because social media is really just a tool. You need some content and strategy behind it in addition to understanding how it works. Both elements are equally important, as many old school PR pros are finding when they bring the ideas but their tweets come off as wooden and robotic.
What’s happening here is that communications/marketing is changing. Smart companies are using it to their advantage, and slow companies are still thinking social media is a fad, but they should probably have a Facebook account. Just because. But they’ll come around once they see that their traditional press release blasts aren’t getting the traction they used to, and the publicity value attached to newspaper articles is steadily declining.
In any case, whether you’re a personal social media user or doing it professionally, the bottom line is: under no circumstances should anyone be tweeting about their dinner.