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Social Media Marketing Isn’t Rocket Science, or . . . So I Thought

Utilizing social media as a marketing tool for your business or website isn’t that difficult, or so I thought. Once I was shown some basic SEO techniques, applying them as a marketing tool on Facebook, Twitter or other sundry social platforms didn’t seem to be all that difficult.  I thought it was very intuitive. You want to connect with clients and prospective customers, and you don’t want to alienate anyone or tarnish your image by spamming them with unwanted solicitations and self-promotion. This isn’t rocket science …

Or, so I thought, until I read over a CNET report comparing how effectively government agencies and public sector groups use social media.

It came as no surprise that President Obama’s people in the White House are a bunch of Twitter wizards. After all, didn’t he get elected by tapping into the political juice provided by the Web? He’s the first president to carry a Blackberry. Even Sarah Palin can type with her thumbs for Pete’s sake! . . . . Or so I presume, given the number of her Tweets that get reported on Fox and MSNBC.

Yet, in the first annual Digital IQ Index for the Public Sector, compiled by the George Washington University School of Business and digital think tank L2, the White House came in second with a digital IQ of 158. It was the rocket scientists at NASA that topped the charts with a stellar digital IQ of 184.

The Digital IQ Index “measured the effectiveness of Web sites, digital marketing, social media and mobile platform support among 100 different public service groups,” according to CNET.  The index includes “independent agencies, the executive branch, advocacy organizations, armed forces, political parties, industry associations and multilateral organizations,” assigning each organization a digital IQ “based on the strength of its online prowess.”

I’m not sure whether NASA blew the competition out of the water because they’re way smart, because they’re a bunch of techno-geeks, or because screen shots of deep space from the Hubble telescope are much more interesting (although, perhaps, less entertaining) than political mud-slinging.

Yet, the nattering politicos were not underrepresented at the top of the digital IQ heap. As noted, the White House came up second with a digital IQ of 158, while the Democratic National Committee came in fifth – just making the cut for the Index’s “Genius” class – and the Republican National Committee came in as a merely “Gifted” seventh at 133, likely due to the ineptness of perennial social-gaffer, RNC Chairman, Michael Steele.

It is encouraging for socially-connected, social activists that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (third), the World Wildlife Fund (sixth), the Nature Conservancy (tied for seventh with the not-so-green RNC), and the American Association of Retired Persons (ninth), all made the final cut for the top ten. (The impressive showing of the AARP illustrates the growing social prowess and presence of seniors online.)

Sadly, at least for died-in-the-wool Hillary fans and for America’s social presence overseas, the Department of State’s 128 rating ranked a “Gifted” tenth, while the U.S. Army came in fourth (just behind PETA) with a “Genius” rating of 145 – which may be due, in some part, to its online gaming presence

It may, or may not, come as a surprise that the Tea Party failed to crack the top ten. They showed up in the “Challenged” category, amongst other no-shows who were dissed for their “weak online and social media activities.” But . . . after all . . . the Tea Partiers never claimed to be rocket scientists.

James Barrie, freelance writer, covers online marketing and related topics for Toronto-based SEO company,

cc licensed flickr photo shared by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center

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3 Replies

  1. Having social media presence is necessary for any large enterprise to survive in these times.

  2. One cannot expect results overnight and also can’t become expert overnight. One has to do hard work and keep patience to get results.

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