You’ve been reading all the latest business books and website articles, and you notice that your competitors and peers are embracing various social media applications as a way to get closer to their customers.
After a certain time, you step back and analyze how effective your ‘social media strategy’ has been. Guess what? It’s been a flop. Why? Because your customers don’t care.
The reason why your campaign’s a failure is because you’re not saying anything that your customers haven’t already heard before, from 101 other sources, who’ve been in the social mediasphere a lot longer than you have. So why should your customers bother?
Many companies are frightened of humanizing their organization, yet that’s exactly what successful blogs and social media are about: removing the anonymity. People like to interact with people, not entities. Social media allows them to do that. However, if all you do is tell your audience what you want them to hear, rather than what they want to know, you’ve lost the game. Social media is about your customers driving the conversation, not you.
While you can control your corporate persona by double-checking every press release or direct mail communication that leaves the building; your company shouldn’t (and can’t) control its social media output. Today, the companies that are generally acknowledged as winning the social media game are the ones that let their staff get on with it. You need to be comfortable with letting as wide a group of people as possible from within your organization be seen as a face or voice for it. Without your control, or your approval. Just with your trust.
And if you’re not happy with that, then you’ve got a problem with your staff. Or your management. Or both.
In which case, social media should be the last of your worries.