Social Media (SM) is a scrum (1) now. All kinds of organizations, agencies, management consulting firms and independents are converging on the topic and kicking it around trying to convince prospects that they have it all figured out. Well, we don’t pretend to have it all figured out (it’s not our specialty) but we all need to understand it and we will share our findings and resources here. First 3 reasons why it matters and then the beginnings of an informed point of view (POV).
Why we all need to understand SM
1. A ‘change’ of paradigm proportions
The switch from top-down broadcast communications (“we will tell you what to think” – one-to-many) to unlimited individual channel broadcasting (“we know what we think and we’ll tell the world” – many-to-many) shifts the base of influence. And the power and sheer volume of individual broadcasting is rendering “corporate communications” almost impotent.
How is your organization managing this proactively and defensively?
2. Building engagement inside of transformational change
Authentic leadership has always sought two-way feedback. This however is that on steroids.
The culture of social media generally is an emerging and morphing phenomenon. Within groups it also takes on the shades of that culture’s values and protocols. Understanding how to navigate in this environment requires sensitivity and judgement.
3. Getting the word out about your (our) offer
SM is the new marketing frontier – but no one owns it or controls it.
Your offer – how your organization participates says a lot about how you honor your brand promise.
Our offer – we believe in what we do and why we do it. Participating in social media, like LinkedIn’s discussion groups, is a way for us to ‘demo’ our capability.
Developing an informed POV about SM – initial notes
What is SM anyway? Ways to interact with other people online?
- Personal publishing and broadcasting (LinkedIn, Facebook, Blogs, YouTube, Flicker, Twitter, MSN Messenger, texting)
- Collaborating (discussion groups, wikis)
- Participating (wish lists, reviews on retail sites, communities)
- Sharing information, feedback, opinions (product reviews, user groups)
- Transacting (auctions)
- Entertaining (Facebook, YouTube, Flicker)
There are several dimensions:
- public access / private access
- organization use / personal use
Public Organization Use: Proactive SM
- Build awareness
- Raise brand value (i.e. active, current, relevant)
- Attract an audience (prospects, consumers, members, etc)
- Market the offer via demonstration
- Add value for audience : add information, provide a broad public forum for exploration of relevant issues
Public Organization Use: Defensive SM
- Monitor brand reputation, i.e. track public references in SM (not PR)
- Respond where appropriate
Collect more information – Do you have great resources for understanding SM? Please share them in a comment.
Some resources we have found useful:
- “Trust Agents: using the web to build influence, improve reputation and earn trust”, Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, John Wiley & Sons Inc, USA, 2010.
(1) Scrum: a Rugby play in which, typically, three members of each team line up opposite one another with a group of two and a group of three players behind them, making an eight-person, three-two-three formation on each side; the ball is then rolled between the opposing front lines, the players of which stand with arms around a teammate’s waist, meeting the opponent shoulder to shoulder, and attempt to kick the ball backward to a teammate. Source: www.dictionary.com
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