Need a Social Media Strategy for 2014? Randall Craig’s Tips for Success

With all of the attention Social Media (SM) is getting these days, in which many marketing gurus are tweeting, blogging and writing with their own take on the topic, I’ve become a major fan of Randall Craig, the no-nonsense Canadian social media and web strategist and president of

I listened to Craig’s webinar on strategic integration of SM for professional associations earlier today, and recommend his Social Media Master Class, coming to Vancouver and Toronto, in the next month. Contact him ( if you want to lobby him to travel wherever you might be.

In his blog, Craig writes  about how to integrate social media into your daily business routine, if you, like many organizations or companies are striving to make optimal and efficient use of SM.

Craig reports that the prospect of engaging SM as a part of organizational strategy often inspires two, different (sometimes polarized) responses: (i) “SM destroys productivity. We’ve got enough to do without it” and (ii) “We need everyone to engage now.”

In the first camp are those professionals who haven’t got time for SM. Craig acknowledges that the 20 or so minutes you might spend on SM daily can’t be recouped for something else. But he warns that the “haven’t got the time” thinking is based on the assumption that people, left alone, will become rapidly unproductive, fail and miss deadlines. On the contrary, Craig says, most professionals today actively work against such things. The few people in your organization who genuinely don’t care, he observes, “would simply abuse something else, if SM weren’t around.”

In the second camp are business professionals who think that SM has to be heavily engaged in, or else their company will lose touch with reality. Craig counters that “at a certain point, the marginal benefit of ‘more’ investment is very low, and the opportunity cost of spending more on SM (versus somewhere else) may be extremely high.”  Yes, the conversation over SM is important. But Craig stresses that the extent of engagement should always be measured and integrated into a larger, overall strategy. SM shouldn’t be an afterthought, tacked on thoughtlessly to the end of your marketing efforts.

If you’re tired of hearing what you’re doing wrong (or failing to strategize) and want to know how to “get things right,” Craig has blogged five tips for engaging SM into roughly 20 minutes of your morning (i.e. daily) routine:

(i)  Check your network’s updates over email. Craig recommends using   This site filters updates to the major sites (FB, Li & Tw) and sends them to your email. You can reply, tweet or post from there.

(ii) Use and read your Google Alerts ( Each day, read the links that Google sends to your email of all the postings found on the web that day, with your certain key terms that you set up as your focus.

(iii) Set up a watch list – Craig here recommends using key terms like Each day, scan for tweets and other messages that match your interests.

(iv) Forecast your meetings for the day ahead—Craig recommends checking out anyone new with whom you’re working by identifying (e.g. on Li) whom you both know in person. You can call that contact person to learn more about this new member of your network, which will create a deeper engagement for your meeting .

(v) On the Li homepage, under the “Who’s viewed you profile,” check out who has been doing just that and, if you wish, consider sending them a message or giving them a call. (My note: be careful not to email strangers, which would violate the incoming policy of Canada’s Anti-Spam Law [CASL]. See more on that subject at ).

So I’m engaged now with Nick Usborne’s program on Social Media, through American Writers and Artists’ Inc (AWAI). And I monitor Randall’s site and blog for his thoughts. These are two macro-level strategies I’m adopting, in addition to the micro-level ones that I’ve mentioned here.

What steps are you (in your organization, association or business) taking towards strategically using SM? Feel free to share your strategies with me; I’d be pleased to hear from you!

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