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passgo.pngBy B.L. Ochman
Many companies, large and small, are rushing to get into social media because they believe it’s a cheap, quick way to drive traffic and sales. Sadly, most are nowhere near ready to try communicating with customers using social media. They don’t even talk to each other.
An inside job
Again and again, I consult to big companies where the PR VP in one division has not met his/her counterpart in another division. IT doesn’t talk to HR or PR. Hourly employees never meet, let alone share ideas with, senior management. Advertising doesn’t coordinate with marketing, or digital, or legal. Senior executives doors and minds are not open to suggestions from the rank and file. Each department and division is busy as hell, doing its own thing – often competitively and at cross-purposes, and certainly at great expense on many levels.
Dear big companies: If you want to try using social media – start inside. Create a wiki, internal blogs, company-wide IM, a help line where any employee has access to any other employee’s knowledge at any time.
Crowdsource from within the company – and be willing to act on and reward good suggestions.
Don’t even think of external social media until you get your house in order. First, create an internal community of people who share their knowledge and experience freely and transparently. Then we can talk external use of social media.
And remember what social media is not:
Social media isn’t a technique, a short-term project, a marketing campaign, an experiment, an event, or a quick fix. It’s not something you throw money at, and using it doesn’t guarantee sales or influence.
Social media is a set of tools that can help you establish credibility and gain trust, particularly when you start inside your company.