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Social Media: Avoid Isolation in These Must-Have Channels

You and your organization are not alone. ArnoldIT’s team of professionals can help. Social media is right for many organizations, brands, and marketing programs. In the past year, social media has surged in importance. In the rush to catch up with a hot new marketing opportunity, many organizations now find themselves stranded on a major branch of the information superhighway.

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At first glance, social media seems to be an easy and free way to jump start sluggish sales or generate qualified new leads. Social media services are free to use. If Lady Gaga or PSY can capture tens of millions of Facebook users, perhaps other businesses can benefit from social media. For many organizations, Nike’s slogan “Just do it” captures the spirit of the social media revolution.

Not so fast.

Social media, like other information revolutions, generates “great expectations”. The biggest names in tech are behind social media. Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, and Twitter.

Many organizations now have multiple social media initiatives. Some organizations have not calculated the time and cost of social media. In other organizations, social media campaigns are not synchronized with some traditional marketing activities. In order to see social media efforts pay off and reinforce sales efforts, organizations must have a social media strategy that fits within all other marketing efforts.

Plan to Orchestrate and Integrate Social Media with Traditional Marketing

Arnold Information Technology brings perspective, experience, and a method to social media. Our research and work with social media reaches back to 2001 with a US government project. We researched how individualized messages diffused through online channels. We tested numerous methods of injecting content and determining what types of information reached specific types of online users. From our work, the Threat Open Source Intelligence Gateway was launched for authorized users. Since then, we have conducted a wide range of social media projects for commercial and government clients.

From this work, we developed an approach which is not influenced by jargon or the antics of marketers, consultants, and advertising services. Our method is anchored in the reality of our clients.

The ArnoldIT Approach

Here’s our basic approach to strategic and tactical social media services we offer organizations worldwide:

  1. Listen to what the client wants to achieve and verify that the goals are in line with what social media can accomplish
  2. Research what methods are likely to work
  3. Develop specific actionable measures for the client’s own staff, its public relations firm, and its management to take.
  4. Clients can do this work themselves or enlist ArnoldIT’s support.
  5. Monitor the competitive environment and feedback changes as they are warranted.
  6. Assess the impact of the activities and implement new methods as they become available.

Big Data promised to revolutionize “everything.” Arnold Information Technology has assisted organizations worldwide in adapting to the other online “change everything” developments.

The challenge of social media today is multi-faceted. The way one defines “social media” depends upon the the observer’s vantage point. Not surprisingly, there are many touch points for social media. There is little consensus about what social media is, can do, and how it can be used by an organization.

A Case Example

Consider this problem:

A company licenses search technology to government agencies. The company has several employees who have LinkedIn accounts. None of these individuals’ comments in LinkedIn groups are related to the company’s core business. The profile pages for these executives contain little information. One day, the president realizes that a small company and a consultant dominate a LinkedIn group about the business sector in which his search company competes. Action is needed.

What should the company president do about the low profile his company has in LinkedIn? What should the company do to build its visibility in this group? Should the company start its own group on LinkedIn or should it aim to build its own following on Google Plus or Facebook? What role does Twitter play? How should the company use the reach of Instagram and Pinterest? What other social media services should the company tap? How can a vendor of technology tap the power of YouTube and build a community Gangnam style?

ArnoldIT provides strategic information services. Social media is one component of a company’s “digital fingerprint.” For some organizations, the Madison Avenue and search engine optimization methods for social media are inappropriate. For some organizations, the use of social media increases certain risks to an unacceptable level. For others, surgical social media tactics are appropriate. In any situation, social media is one factor in the online landscape.

The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) used social media with great effect. The IDF’s social media campaign featured live blogging of its attack on Hamas. The video of the Hamas Wing Commander incineration caused a media furor. See “Heads Up.” The IDF’s use of social media was powerful. Visibility is achieved, but can an organization’s social media actionable measures backfire? In the rush to play “catch up,” we believe risks actually increase more rapidly than the positive benefits of the social media activity itself.

The question is, “What social media methods can an organization employ without creating a firestorm of negative publicity?”

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  1. Introduction
  2. Context-aware planning
  3. Social media risks
  4. Tactical implementation
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