for some reason, people think that because they know how to set up an account on twitter and facebook that they can use social media. but just because you can use a hammer, does that mean you can build a house?

social media isn’t just the tool. blogs, microblogs, wikis, forums, are all just the hammer. you can’t build a foundation, much less an entire house with just a hammer. there ought to be a plan, or a blueprint before you start using social media. understand what it is, and what it’s about before setting out on this journey of ‘modernizing’ your organization.

don’t set up a blog because you want comments (first!1!!! lolz!), and don’t set up a twitter or facebook account because you want the most followers [seth’s blog]. you should be setting up a blog and twitter account to communicate with your readers and followers. remember that the whole premise behind social media is the social aspect of it.

before you start building, you should have an overall communications plan or strategy (your foundation), and know what your end state is (the blueprints). what are you trying to accomplish? an increase of 10% in your sales? an increase of 20% in brand loyalty? to increase your workforce by 5% in each region?.. to decrease your workforce by 5% in each region?

just like any good construction firm, you better have inspections along the way. identify the metrics you want to follow, and measure them throughout the process so you can tell if things are actually working or not. not getting the results you expected? is the third bathroom costing too much money? it could be time to change your approach (or at least lower your expectations).

you can’t show up to the job site with nothing but a hammer — and you can’t integrate social media into your organization just because you ‘know twitter’. a lot goes into building a house, just like a lot should go into your social media and enterprise 2.0 plans.