Is social media an art or a science?

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11.02.2011By

If you’ve been studying up on how to effectively use social media to do online fundraising or promote your organization, you’ve no doubt found mountain full of information about measuring and monitoring social media. You’ve also found almost as many articles about creating “engaging” content (a rather overused term).

These two mountains make you feel relaxed, but also a little freaked out. The articles about monitoring and measuring social media make you feel somewhat relaxed because, after all, it’s a science where data is captured and analyzed.

But the articles about content creation make you feel a little freaked out because the last time you got praise for making anything was when you gave your mom a clay ashtray you made in first grade.

Is it an art or is it a science?

So is social media or online fundraising an art, or is it a science? The short answer here is that every component within a social media strategy both is a science and a art. But how?

Social Media is a Science

Social media is a science for several reasons:

So if you’re the scientific type, you’ll find an almost unlimited amount of resources. But these resources can’t tell how to find the opportunities in your data, or how tweak your strategy. You’ll have to rely on your own creativity for that. So maybe…

Social Media is an Art

If social media was a canvas, the oil paint would be our community:

So if you’re the artist type, you have the keys to a studio Picasso would die for. But posting and publishing works of art is a waste if no one comes to the exhibit. Knowing so means monitoring mentions and shares, which is kind of a science.

How about your organization? Is social media a science, an art, or a little bit of both?

What do you think?