You Define The Risks In Social Media

11/05/2007

Risk A could have had conversation ..

"Isn't there a risk in entering into a social media strategy," They asked.

"What about? What if?" They asked.

"We want safeguard," They said.

"We need reassurance," They said.

"I respect your fears," Said I.

"Let's address some", Said I.

Hesitantly They nodded.

"I admire your courage to explore," Said I.

They gifted me with a nod and a smile.

I remembered what CK said about feeling comfortable.

Q1: How do you ensure the brand is not comprised through comments?
A: Develop comment guidelines or house rules that set expectations.
Moderate/filter prior to posting comments.

Q2: How do you measure ROI? How do you know if you succeed?
A: Develop a blog strategy that ties into accountability.
Success for a social media/blog strategy may not happen ‘as the crow flies.’ The route my be circular.

Q3: How do you ensure the brand is not compromised through the company's bloggers' posts?
A: Develop blogger guidelines and a blogger code of ethics. If the bloggers can help develop these all the better.
Invest in training bloggers and setting expectations. Bring bloggers in on the purpose/goal and /what is success.

Q4: Will we need to promote the blog/social media programs and how will they impact our current marketing strategy?
A: Yes. If you build it they will not come unless you tell them. Consider how your initiatives will either support/solve a marketing or operational challenge or strategy and then how it can dovetail into current and future tactics.
If you develop a blog commit to ensuring it is visible on the home page of your website and that there is a link placed on the main navigation bar.

Q5: What do we do if IT does not have time to be involved?
A: There are hosted solutions such as typepad.com. IT interface can be kept to a minimum such as adding links to the website to the blog .

Q6: Is it worth the additional time?
A: Identify anticipated benefits and how they will either support/solve a marketing or operational challenge or strategy.
Example: Your customer service reps time spend answering questions about how to send packages over seas. A blog post can expand a static FAQ page and provide feedback for specific questions that will be available in archives and part of your continuing knowledge base. time, people resources and $ saved.

Q7: Do you have the people resources needed?
A: Determine what your content direction will be; the roles and responsibilities of the people involved and track time.
Read Q6 answer

Q8: Can you afford the additional operational (software, hosting) expenses?
A: Hard cost is pennies .. the look and feel/design may up the price but that can be control.

Q9: What happens if your competitor is less risk adverse than you and steps into the space first?
A: You'll be second to market and have to play catch-up in your learnings.

Q10: How do you safeguard against getting "blown-up?"
A: Keep the social mantra top of mind: honesty, transparency, authenticity. Throw in a little passion too. Remember social media is simply a way to engage in conversations with your customers and prospects using a bit of technology and the internet. Expect differing opinions, questions and  perhaps some challenges too. 

Social media usually self-corrects if someone says something unfavorable that is not true frequently your brand champions will tell the other side of the story, giving the nay sayers less credibility. You can also join in and tell your side of the story.

Interesting article from iMedia article

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» The Diva Defines The Risk In Social Media from PR Communications
Toby Bloomberg answers the following questions on her post, "You define the risks in social media." Q1: How do you ensure the brand is not comprised through comments? Q2: How do you measure ROI? How do you know if you [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 10, 2007 12:57:08 AM

Comments

Thanks for this - I work with Fleishman-Hillard in Atlanta and many of our clients ask these exact questions when we suggest social media strategies for their communication efforts. Always enjoy your posts!

Posted by: Katherine M. on Nov 7, 2007 10:00:52 AM

Thanks i came away from this reading with more ideas, thanks!

Posted by: stock market trend on Nov 7, 2007 4:05:19 PM

Thanks i came away from this reading with more ideas, thanks!

Posted by: stock market trend on Nov 7, 2007 4:06:39 PM

What a fantastic, epiphany-rich post (psst: you should PDF this to handouts/email to clients and prospects).

This is such a wonderful way to answer questions AND overcome objections.

And one day when you look at them and say "Remember how it seemed so plagued with risk?" They'll look back at you and you'll laugh together.

PS: Hi Max

Posted by: CK on Nov 7, 2007 6:21:23 PM

Good point on playing catch up. Catching on is easier and more fun than catching up.

Posted by: Mary Hunt on Nov 11, 2007 12:47:16 PM

The company needs to sort itself out if it is frightened about negative comments. A strong brand is one that is strong in everything, not just how it looks / advertising / logo etc ..

Posted by: Eamon on Jan 5, 2008 11:55:02 AM

Done it again, Toby! In the fast-moving world of social media in (and into) the enterprise this is still up to the minute . It's a "Gee, I wish I'd written that!" winner for me and will be a key resource to which I point people from now on. It will sure save me a lot of explaining time.:)

Posted by: Des Walsh on Sep 2, 2008 4:53:42 PM

A further thought on re-reading the post title. As consultants we do ourselves and clients or potential clients no service in saying there is no (real) risk. I like to be very up-front with business people about this. Then I draw to their attention that just by being in business they are taking on a range of risks, especially financial risk. The key is in having risk management strategies in place and following them. They pay for insurance, they take legal advice, they keep as healthy as they can: all risk management. People seem to get this.

Posted by: Des Walsh on Sep 2, 2008 4:59:03 PM

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