Technology can only take you so far

March 4, 2010

Of all the great tips and insights that were shared at the Social Media for Communicators conference I attended last week in Atlanta, one in particular has stayed with me. During the final keynote address, Brian Solis, principal of FutureWorks and blogger for PR 2.0 said, “Social media is about sociology and psychology more so than technology.”

As a former sociology major in college, this statement immediately piqued my interest.  Yes, social media networks would not be possible without the technology that makes them work, but when looking to make social media outlets effective and beneficial to the people you are trying to reach, technology can only take you so far. It is the study of human and societal behaviors, and the understanding of the human psyche, that allow us to transform social media from technological tools to instruments that can truly engage consumers on a personal level and shape perception and conversation in a meaningful way.

So the next time you start thinking about crafting a social media strategy, think of it more as an exercise in sociology and psychology rather than technology. Research your target demographics. Think about trends and behaviors. What are their likes and dislikes? Where is the best place to reach them? Allow them to capture your attention and, in return, you’ll be better equipped to capture theirs.

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