Don’t Kill the "Social" Messenger – via @augieray

Augie Ray shared his views on a recent Fortune article on his Marketing & Strategy blog at Forrester. What leaps off the page to us is the core business problem today: How can I leverage social media, empower my team(s) yet satisfy corporate governance, brand management and compliance?

As Ray notes midway through his analysis – it is a double-edged sword – corporate management has a brand to protect – but are they keeping their strategy prisoner to pre-social media thinking? Or worse, is it just poor managers ignoring opportunities so as not to upset the apple cart?

“I suppose the advice to employees isn’t incorrect, but where is the advice to employers?  Does anyone else get uncomfortable with the companies’ reported actions in those three examples?  My feelings about this article came into focus when I read a blog post on the Next Level Blog entitled, “Seven Simple Rules to Create a Fear Based Culture.”  Scott Eblin suggests, “a good way to learn leadership is to do the opposite of what really crappy leaders do.”  Among the habits of “crappy” leaders are:

  • Kill the messenger,
  • Ignore the people on the front line, and
  • Keep them guessing.”

We recognize this is not a simple business challenge with an easy resolution. It is a combination of strategy, tactics, technology and knowledgeable leaders who can sponsor, engage and mentor the foray into social media. What we disagree with, like Ray does, is the mentality that says if we cannot control it completely – then it cannot fit into our environment.

Our goals at Arkovi are to educate and inform as we provide archiving, compliance and business intelligence tools for social media. Through our own experienced team and the relationships we have developed with our partners – it enables us to further satisfying those goals for our customers by providing the ability to:

  • Plan for social media implementation
  • Cultivate the policies and strategy required to manage social initiatives
  • Tie together the platforms (web presence, social content, editorial planning and participating in the conversation)
  • Monitor and manage your brand as you proceed

All of us engaging in “social” for business also have the added responsibility of sharing our experiences to counter the fear, uncertainty and doubt among corporate executives. Perhaps a future follow up by Augie Ray or Fortune Magazine will showcase corporate teams who have:

  • Celebrated the messenger
  • Empowered their front line teams with the knowledge, vision and tools to participate
  • Collaborate to develop successful social initiatives

Like any marketing or customer service program – there will be bruises and bumps – but also growth, enhanced skills and new brand and revenue opportunities.

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