Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What to tell brand companies about 'social media'

I have been thinking a lot about how to respond to requests from potential clients about a social media strategy. Joe Jaffe is right - Social media is a commitment, not a campaign. So how do you tell a client that is familiar with and bought into outward bound communication with a potential customer being a Press Release or an ad that they aren't ready for 'social media'? They are still caught up in making the best website ever and may not be ready for engagement outside of the walled area of their site. How do you show them the value of their brand engaging in open environments when you can't show the value from a lead generation point of view. It isn't about direct response initially.

Social media is time consuming and requires someone obsessed with reputation management. They need to be free to step outside the brand guidelines once and awhile, and more importantly, need to be able to react instantly without checking with a lawyer first. This is hard and scary for public brand companies. You need to have a sense of humour because people will laugh at your attempts and comment on your content, even if it is well though out. I would consider a twitter posting a success if people tweeted back in any form thus starting the conversation.

So, what to tell companies that are asking for social media strategies? Social media is a commitment, not a campaign. And to find that right person to start small and give them the freedom to succeed.

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posted by Barbara 'webmama' Coll @ 7:59 AM     Permanent Link