So what do you do when an employee posts to a blog and announces to anyone who’s listening he doesn’t like Facebook or Twitter? What if that blog belonged to your company? What if your company was a communications firm that, among other things, advises clients on the value of Facebook and Twitter?
Where do you err? Do you:
- Take the post down because clients may question your commitment to social media?
- Applaud the honesty of the post, the kind of authenticity that forms the spirit and raison d’être of social media?
If you choose option A, you would be denying readers a point of view but would certainly be protecting your company’s social media practice. Alternatively, if you choose option B you would be “walking the social media talk” albeit throwing caution to the wind.
Last week, our very talented and dedicated interactive developer, Ryan, wrote the post immediately preceding this one, “Don’t Facebook me, don’t tweet me.” In it he explains why, despite his mastery of, and awe for, the technology that enables Facebook, Twitter and other social media applications, he isn’t a fan. In his post he waxes about the reasons for his distain – from tired eyes to the voyeurism it encourages. But Ryan’s message is clear.
Many employers today identify “social media risk” as something to measure and manage. This continues to be a major reason so many of them have not adopted social media as a part of their marketing platforms. Defamatory tweets or inappropriate (and very viral) videos are only a click away from global disbursement and can create real and costly brand crises. Censoring content, blocking Web access and writing strict and toothy policies may partially mitigate the risk but cannot extinguish it. The cultural costs to your company of trying may not be worth it.
What then, as a principal of KG Partners should I do? Pull the post or leave it? Either way I am making a mistake at some level. The irony of Ryan’s post is unmistakable, however. (Truth be told, irony makes the World a more interesting place.)
Our blog is open to all associates at KG Partners as a place to express a professional point of view on a wide swath of topics directly or tangentially related to marketing and communications. By doing so, we strive to strengthen our thought leadership position in the arena in a genuine, legitimate and powerful way. But we never imagined a post would ad such a contrarian voice to the chorus. Now we too have first-hand experience in the trials and tribulations of social media. Again, the irony is palpable.
Social media? Yeah, we’re still fans. But the post stays.blog communications Facebook marketing social media Technology Twitter Posted under KG Partners by Dave Goldberg, Partner
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