WARNING: THE FOLLOWING POST CONTAINS DISCUSSIONS OF POLITICS
At the moment there are two major political social media events happening that speak to how there is no one size fits all “Social Media Campaign”. We always counsel clients that you need to understand your organizational goals before undertaking any campaign and even more importantly, you need to understand what mediums within social media can help achieve those goals. There is also the way to structure the campaign: a top down approach where you empower your users/customers/fans to take part in a series of actions or a bottom down approach where you try to steer the undercurrents of the conversation.
Which brings me back to the two political activities. Right now in Pittsburgh, thousands of progressives, the self named ‘Netroots’ are attending Netroots Nation. What started as an unofficial rather large meet-up of DailyKos members has turned into a full blown yearly convention. What’s so striking about this is how it is entirely user driven from a community, that while it has editors, is the epitome of community sourcing. It was created entirely out of a desire of the online community members wanting a place to meet in person.
On the conservative side, there is a top down organizational approach to bringing the enthusiasm seen online into the physical world. Groups like FreedomWorks are helping to round up individuals via listservs, message boards, and blogs to get them to attend Congressional town halls. They are marshaling thousands of people to town halls all across the country.
Regardless of your political views this really puts into perspective how social media is about people connecting, not about technology or buzzwords.