I was recently in a meeting with a client when the marketing manager stated that all social media updates are reviewed by her or her team before being posted externally. After a bit of probing, I came to understand that her concern was about maintaining the company brand and the unintentional sharing of intellectual property. These are fair concerns, but they raised alarms for me.
To be clear, my engagement with this client is not specific to social media. They have hired an agency to help them with their efforts. My concern is that with too much control, their social media communications will be flat and uninspired. Regardless of who helps them develop their social media plan, they will need to think about the company culture. Her comments made me realize that this company does not have a culture of empowerment. They have been through many acquisitions and spin-offs, and the culture has been impacted by the continual shifting of leadership and ownership,
Like a symphony orchestra, each individual brings a unique tone to the overall production.
Social media is about being transparent and authentic. If the director, stifles the soloist, the performance seems lacking. The role of the director is to infuse his musicians with and understanding and passion for a particular piece of music. Companies should consider a similar model. If companies are concerned about their employees sharing inappropriate content, they should inform and educate their employees on the company goals for using social media, provide guidelines for content and ramifications for employees if they show poor judgement. A company's culture and organizational structure can provide two of the biggest hurdles to social media success. Take the time to understand your company's culture and the impact on communication style and channel, is critical when initiating your social media efforts.
Recommendations for addressing these challenges include strategic planning to align the use of social media with clear goals and metrics, employee education, organize a hub and spoke social media team and constantly listen, review and assess. Everyone I have talked to about social media shares that their experience has been trial and error. It's ok to make a mistake. Own it and move forward. Your goal should be to orchestrate the efforts of your organization in such a way as to let individual personalities emerge and shine. The content they share will reflect positively on your organization
How are your social media efforts proceeding? What are your biggest challenges? I'm interested to learn from you!
What's your perspective?