Social Media: Are you ready? Is your company?

I know that much has been said about this topic already, but quite frankly I think it’s something that needs repeating over and over and over and….

Some time ago I participated in a social media strategy workshop aimed at gathering input in order to use social media in the best possible way. Initially it didn’t sound that complicated: “We use Facebook for this, we use Twitter for that, badabing, badaboom, What’s for lunch?”.

Reality proved to be quite different. One thing is to launch campaigns on social media, but what about the employees? All of a sudden they see great initiatives out there in the open online landscape, and yet when they are sitting at their desk they have little or no online interaction with their co-workers (other than mail, obviously).

We are not afraid of letting complete strangers discuss whatever they like on a public Facebook page, but there’s just no way we are willing to invest a tiny fraction of what a marketing campaign costs in the people that make up the company for them to enjoy the same priveleges.

This is where you need to pause and think about getting the employees on board – possibly the best and most dedicated company ambassadors – and believe me, they are already talking both on behalf of AND about the company in their spare time!

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For a great example of how to explain the difference between “talking on behalf of” and “talking about” to employees, take a look at the social media guidelines from Roche

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