If you manage a social media plan for an organization, one of your most important assets is your personal network.  (Don’t think for a second that professional social media managers have a substitute for this.)  One of the reasons that the social media space scares so many people is that in order for you to succeed in social media, you need to be authentic, and that means you need to be able to write almost as fast as people talk.  Between posting content to Facebook, your blog, a Twitter feed, or any other channels you use, and leaving and responding to comments from Fans, you are inevitably going to have typos and mispillings occasionally, as well as ideas that sound good at first, but on later inspection, need to marinate more before you put them out for public consumption.  This is nothing like the old print world.  

What saves you from embarrassing typos and poorly-written content?  Your personal network.  (OK – you yourself as the author need to be capable of producing good content 95% of the time, but no matter how good you are, you will occasionally write something that you need to run past an editor.)  You have two options: You can ask your friends, family and trusted acquaintances to review your writing prior to posting it online, or you can (like me) post it online and then solicit feedback from a select circle of people – but either way, your personal network will boost the quality of your work significantly.  Don’t underestimate this.

Will Marlow co-founded AlumniFidelity to help his clients reposition their fundraising to benefit from Web 2.0 technology and marketing techniques. He’s working with clients such as UVA, the College of William & Mary, the University of Oklahoma, Bowling Green State University, Randolph Macon College, and he loves nothing better than a thorny marketing challenge.  Email him at