Social Communications: Don’t Spray & Pray

Image from Rubbermaid Products via Flickr

I’m studying corporate communications at Athabasca University.  The unit I’m in talks about strategy, particularly communications strategy.

In an article I’m reading, the author indicates that communicators often will choose from one of five communication strategies.  One of these strategies is Spray & Pray.  Spray & Pray involves giving a bunch of information, hoping people will be able to weed through insignificant and significant content.  This strategy has a low level of effectiveness because the person receiving the message my miss the important message.

I think social media is plagued with the Spray & Pray approach.  In social media this doesn’t just mean sending a lot of information out, but also about spraying it across multiple channels and praying it works.

The various social media channels require their own strategy.  Blasting the same content across multiple channels is completely ineffective.

Also delivering a lot of content on your social channels and hoping that people will pick up the really important content could actually negatively impact your organization.  Posting too much on organization’s Facebook page is the number one people ‘unlike’ your brand on Facebook.

The most successful communication strategy is Underscore & Explore.  This means developing core messages and actively listening for misunderstanding and unrecognized obstacles.

What to do?

  • Develop a communications strategy for each social media channel.
  • Do not blast the same message across multiple channels.
  • Listen. Listen. Listen.
  • http://twitter.com/codyfoss Cody Foss

    This is a rule that pretty much every “social media expert” I know of breaks.

  • http://www.mikemccready.ca/blog/ Mike McCready

    I know. It’s sad, but true. It seems that “social media experts” don’t fully understand the channels or have a strategy.

  • http://www.mikemccready.ca/blog/ Mike McCready

    I know. It’s sad, but true. It seems that “social media experts” don’t fully understand the channels or have a strategy.

  • Steve Opper

    Mike,

    While in agreement that knowledge is power, the bigger picture is communicating the knowledge in the right form in the right place where people are likely to find it.  As a marketing stategist and consultant, I’ve far too often seen blasting as a strategy. Your Underscore and Explore strategy is right on!  

    Steven Opperthauser
    Marketing Consultant