A Hesitant Embrace: Low-Tech Solutions in a Social Media Landscape

Recently, while I was attending an educational tech conference, I was struck by the “low-tech” solution the conference planners employed to have attendees share information about their favorite apps.

Conference planners positioned a whiteboard and colored markers in the area with the refreshments and made an announcement during one of the communal meals that the whiteboard was to be used to write down our favorite apps.

I ended up taking a picture of the board with my cell phone, both because I wanted to capture the content on the board and explore those apps, but also because I was struck by the low-tech tool used to gather input from this very tech-savvy audience.

Sometimes a whiteboard is what actually works

Although I may have posted an online conference discussion board or specified a slightly different version of the conference hashtag for sharing such information, the whiteboard actually worked.

This experience is a great reminder for those of us knee-deep in social media – that sometimes other ideas that are decidedly low-tech can still work, and even more important, sometimes low-tech solutions are the best solutions.

Are you being asked to do more with less?

As budgets tighten, hospital marketing directors are being asked to do more with less. And usually that means they wear the hat of social media strategist.

An effective social media strategist does not just look to use social media tools for the sake of their novelty, but always seeks the best solution to achieve the desired outcome. Sometimes that means adopting social media tools, other times it may mean mixing new and traditional media, and occasionally, it might mean not using social media as part of the solution at all.

Become familiar with strengths and weaknesses of specific social media tools

To maintain your effectiveness and trustworthiness as a social media strategist, be clear in outlining the project’s desired outcomes, obtain sufficient social media training and train the staff so your entire team becomes familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of specific social media tools, and then embrace their well-researched and informed decision…even if it means using a whiteboard with colored markers.

How we help

Hive Strategies helps health systems create HIPAA-compliant online communities for better health, lower costs and greater loyalty.

2 replies
  1. Jean Kelso Sandlin
    Jean Kelso Sandlin says:

    Thanks for the comment, Jason. I agree that it boils down to having a sound strategy. I, too, lean more toward hashtags than whiteboards, but it’s good to have divergent views to challenge us strategists to define and defend our strategies and not just rely on our own “default” settings.

  2. Jason Boies
    Jason Boies says:

    Good stuff here, Jean. I’m as big of a social media pusher as anyone but you’re right about it not meeting every need. That said, setting up accounts on the major platforms is free, so if you’re strategy is sound they CAN be a cost saving solution.
    Great idea for a post, BTW.


    Jason Boies – Radian6 Community


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