Social media has brought about one of the biggest shifts in marketing and communications planning in years. Many are still trying to catch up. We should spend some time reflecting on what social media can teach us about marketing via other avenues.

In social media the accepted norms are all about being simple, truthful and timely. Here are a few things I suggest you look at

  • Keep in concise – while in other mediums we are afforded the luxury more space for content than the sometimes restrictive 140 characters of twitter this doesn’t mean we have to, or should us it. People want clear and quick communications regardless of medium; get the point and get on
  • Be real – we have learned to expect transparency from social media. Those that are not, are called out and publicly flogged. We should strive to keep this same idea in all other forms of communications. We feel we can hide since there is no instant feedback to our words in other mediums but our consumers are much more savvy than in the past, so be real
  • Be yourself – people can connect when they get a peek behind the curtain. In social media this can mean putting a name or face; in other forms it can mean providing real students, real experiences and communicating in a conversational tone
  • Be accurate/ be timely – every one expects the right info and fast in social media. This should also be expected in other mediums, don’t let your websites, brochures, etc flounder into inaccurate dinosaurs, be sure you have a plan to create sustainable accurate communications in all mediums
  • Know your audience – you should understand the people you are trying to communicate to and the standards of the medium you are trying to communicate in
  • Add value – this has been the hardest lesson learned for most in social media. There are still those who provide no value for those who we are trying to communicate with. Is your brochure providing value? or is it simply checking something off a list? is it simply to toot your own horn or provide bureaucratic information of no value to the audience?

What other lessons can we learn from social media to make us become overall better communicators?