It’s safe to say that there is not much to compare to when talking about a large marketing team for a big firm and a developing, emotionally confused adolescent passing into adulthood. However, with the recent rise of social media like Twitter and Facebook, both these worlds collide.
Not even a decade ago, both parties would manage and narrate their environment, commanding what goes on around them and shape the way they’re seen and thought of. But now as that sphere grows outwards and more people are involved, that fleeting feeling of not being in control sets in. They watch every move they make so carefully on the social media scene, quivering and backtracking after every step. It’s a game of acceptance and they’re playing it wrong.
So what are they so afraid of?
1) “What if people are mean?”
When jumping into the social media scene, you become from just another face in the crowd to a consumer with a media platform, a built-in audience and megaphone. A disgruntled customer or a manipulative friend can use this platform to capture any incident and distribute it easily.
What to do?
If you’re worried that snide remarks are being made about you, they already are and you just can’t hear them. Social media is unlikely to create new issues for your brand but it can speed-up existing ones. If there’s a problem, people are already taking dirt. So, is the “head in the sand” approach really better? Take this opportunity to engage customers and determine how to improve your offering, gather insights for future improvements and provide additional service where needed.
2) “What if someone hijacks our social media conversation for their own gain?”
The era of one-way messaging and marketing is gone, and it’s not coming back. In today’s 24/7 news cycle where everyone’s a media entity, lots of people are tracking current events to find a hook to exploit us, whether it’s something your company did or a drunken kiss with that weird kid in class.
What to do?
Embrace it and join the conversation. Now is the time to start talking. Respond to them. Build an active base on social media to ensure that you’re able to quickly respond to the conversation and present your perspective.
3) “What if people know too much?”
Giving away too much may be an issue, and finding that middle ground is hard. Being transparent is difficult, especially with the fear of hurt margins and painful drama awaiting us after every turn.
What to do?
Transparency doesn’t mean tell all. Be open about your business but don’t give away your deepest, darkest secrets. Transparency is about being honest and open around information that’s appropriate and important to your fans/friends. It’s not about you disregarding boundaries and sharing personal information.
So now are you ready for social media?
How would your brand participate in the golden age of the geek?
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