a social culture will flourish…

Our blog post on Monday generated some discussion about traditional and new media marketing that lead us to this thought as a follow-up for today…

As marketers it amazes us how organizations still consider it acceptable to have one person who “gets it” on staff. The go-to for Twitter, setting up a Facebook page, and dare we say, be responsible for single-handedly carrying out a “social media strategy!”

“Social media is easy. My son has a Facebook page.”

“Social media is something the intern can do. So don’t spend a lot of time on it.”

“We know we’ve got to be in the social space, so let’s get a social media guy!”

Even in today’s fast paced 2.o marketing world, the lone social media guy is a concept that still exists. Organizations who continue with this mind-set are certainly loosing ground with their competitors.

Social media should be more of a team effort and less of a solo act, an integrated layer in the overall strategy and marketing plan of the organization. Social is simply a channel of communication, an extension to any other campaign of the content strategy.

We see clients who develop a content strategy and social media is an afterthought when it should be in the plans DNA. Carrying the plan further can only be possible when social is incorporated into the DNA of the people at your organization. The employees of any organization are the front-line brand ambassadors or champions, an army of marketers! Your brand does not reside in the marketing department or the accounting department but in all facets of the culture, right?

The most successful social media activations are typically not the work of a lone social media guy. You need depth of thought and breadth of experience. The more actively contributing members you have to the cause, the more brains you have available to solve problems and interact with your audience, the greater the engagement. Look for clever, engaging ways to integrate social media into your organization’s real life. It becomes the story, the conversation.

Still today, we see organizations who activate the bare minimum, “we have a Facebook page!” or “we’ve been thinking about Twitter!,” who are missing the potential impact social can have when leveraged by the entire organization. Social media, all too often, is treated like a checklist and not like a tool.

We are not saying that everyone in the organization needs to have a Twitter account, but all participate in forums and industry discussions and they pay careful attention to what others are doing in the space. These folks are an extremely valuable resource who can fill the pages of the narrative that a company needs to produce in today’s mix. These folks are your “social media guy!” Find a way to tap into these marketers.

A social media guy can be gone tomorrow. A social culture will continue to flourish.

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27 thoughts on “a social culture will flourish…

  1. Somewhere people have come to believe social as in social media does not require the personal touch as in picking up the phone or meeting someone face to face. People buy from people, not from social media posting. Those posting only attract attention.

  2. Personal touch is very important; I know many companies that lost clients due to their poor experience with the company’s fan page admins.

    • certainly any touch-point to a brand should be handled with extreme care to reflect the genuine culture you are trying to establish. many still do not realize the power of SM and the impact of a single tweet! Thank You for the comment and read Anastasia

  3. I’ve been a tad bit guilty of this in the past. I’ve made some serious efforts lately to get a strategy and to implement ideas. I also have made a renewed commitment to go online at least 30 minutes/day. That makes a big difference. Communication is a big thing and in a company the rule (usually) applies: the more people give ideas, the better the ideas!

  4. I have met so many people who do not take it seriously! I think if you can not commit to doing it right, do not do it at all or hire someone good. It takes a team to do it and Social Media works (or should!) hand in hand with marketing departments, HR, etc. Nice article!

    • agreed, better to not even dip the toe, too much risk in damaging the brand Dorien. we hate to see those rally up and launch something and then leave it stagnate. thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  5. Great article.

    Social needs to percolate down through the organisation and permeate everyone in it.

    There needs to be immersion in the culture otherwise whatever brand image is projected will not match the customer experience which is a huge problem.

    A mismatch between brand image (personal, corporate or product) and actual experience has been the downfall of many marketing initiatives and entire organisations/products.

    It is a huge mistake to let one person be or control the social aspect of your business (unless you are a one man band). All businesses should be constantly carrying out environmental scanning so it is not a huge leap to turn this from passive activity to engagement.

    Product managers have been engaging in this way for years as brand champions now everyone in the organisation needs to be a brand champion and buy into the process.

    It is a culture change but we’ve been through it before when workplace moved more towards team based environments in the 1980s/1990s. Many sales teams have moved towards relationship selling – this has been ongoing since the 1970s as more and more companies have switched on to the fact that people buy from people whether it is B2B or B2C.

    Get the culture right (Google being a prime example) and the rest will flow and be more authentic and attractive.

    • thank you Kittie, I totally agree with your spot-on brief. i find that some sit and just ask what went wrong instead of asking what do “we” need to do! your comments are very much appreciated.

  6. I have to admit I am learning and I have delegated some of my social media. I do meet once a month with my team and also have someone get online each and every day. My blog is in need of comments and thus here I am, doing some rounds and realizing how much I enjoy it!

  7. I just came back from a presentation where I talked about doing social media right, it’s not about just creating a Facebook page and letting it sit there. You reap what you sow and running a social media campaign takes work.

    • Thanks for the read and comment Karla and you bet it is work! Funny, we developed a 2012 ad campaign and have it up and running for a client the we are using the “Reap What You Sow” as the tags line…

  8. Great thought about social media needing to be in the overall plan’s DNA! Slowly, businesses are coming around to realizing it takes a village! I’m all for college kids getting jobs but putting them on the “front line” of your biz by having them as your social media implementers just doesn’t make sense! I see so many trying to do it this way. Marketing is marketing and social media is just one aspect of a good plan. Great post!

    • Thanks for the input and read Martha. As a marketing and branding agency we have always “looked for,” “invested in,” and “subscribed to” sound opportunities that will strengthen a brand in the heart of the consumer. Although twitter, facebook, etc. have a very real problem to tackle on the monetization front they certainly rule when it comes to connecting! Play these channels as the front door to your clint, consumer, friends so dress it up a bit and make sure you have the best greeter!

  9. Authenticity and the personal touch are everything in this business. We have to be human first :)

  10. Great post Randy … wish I had read this before I went ‘social’ …. I’ve learned some of these mistakes the hard way … but at least I won’t forget them!!

    • I have always said the greatest way for someone to learn is to wade on in and expect a few bruised nose’s, as long as they do not burn the house down! It strengthens the lesson. You do good work Michelle and thanks for the support of b2b…rcb

  11. I read this piece in May and I read it with new eyes today. Confession: Not until I came to the last part, did I realize I had read AND commented before. Meaning: Social Media evolves and changes and so do the people who call themselves ‘experts’ We continuously learn and need reminders, too to integrate social media in all we do!

    Great piece of writing with an awesome message!

    • Thank you for the 2nd read Dorien. You, I am always learning and tackling challenges. SM is evolving and I have meet and talked to a many who inspire and challenge much, including you!

  12. Agreed to me the Highest Values I work within social media area: #Teamwork #Collaboration #Sharing #Referrals #Authenticity #Value #Networking at the end of the day though all of these things require Co-Creating with OTHERS… and Teamwork

  13. I agree with you! Unfortunately, not every company realises it. At least they finally learn abut the importance of social media marketing. One step at a time!

  14. It’s difficult to measure the impact of social media for a small to medium size company. Most of the small business owners I know are operating on such a small overhead budget that adding staff for what isn’t immediate ROI isn’t being considered right now.

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