As part of our Netskills workshop on using social networking for community participation we have guidance on putting together a social media strategy, involving aims, outcomes, methods, individual responsibilities etc.
One question I want to include in the future is “what is your exit strategy?” It’s not so much, how will you withdraw from social media entirely, but have you considered what happens when the community you are engaging with stops using the platform you have invested so much time in establishing yourself on (Facebook, for example)?
Myspace was never widely used by education institutions as a way of social networking but they are a good example of how an established platform can wither away in the face of the alternatives.
Google+ is picking up momentum and Diaspora is just round the corner. They may become anything from “the next big thing”, through “just another option”, to “big white elephant”. With discussion of Facebook “peaking” it’s worth acknowledging that the social media landscape will probably look very different in 2 years’ time.
As part of your planning, have you considered the fact that you might have to change horses mid race at some point? Do you have resources in place to let you do that should you decide to? How do you rebuild your valuable network quickly on another platform? How will you protect, archive or transfer the data you have in the old platform? Do you avoid putting all eggs in one basket so that you can simultaneously run a number of networks?
What other questions should we consider when building flexibility into a social media strategy?