In just a few short years, social media has become embedded in everything we do and it isn’t just for personal use any more. If you have a question while working, or are looking for a new job, you probably reach out to your network. You collaborate online. Maybe you read blogs to form opinions or write them yourself. Customers may praise or criticize your products or services in a variety of forums.
Like it or not, social media is not just part of our lives but also part of our product and employer bands.
Importantly for companies, it’s not just a select few representing your strategy to the world to any more. ANYONE can blog, tweet and/or shape public opinion. This represents an opportunity and a risk for businesses. The risk is what could happen if you don't advise your employees about appropriate use of social media technology.
One careless tweet... Scary.
What about opportunity? Consider this: Imagine if you had not just a few spokespeople, but a virtual army of evangelists for your company, product or services...
What would that mean for your product or employer branding? Do you think consumers would be interested in the fact that employees genuinely love your products? Do you think talented applicants would be impressed by the fact that your employees love what they do?
Of course the downside is if customers and employees aren't in love with you, or can't spell.
Developing a social media strategy takes attention, planning and execution but it also takes passion. Do your employees believe in your company, products or services enough to put their own names behind them? Are they excited enough about your features or company culture to tell the world?
If not, your social media strategy will depend on marketing professionals who are paid to sound excited about your company.
Which is OK but will ultimately fizzle because there are a lot of voices out there competing for attention. The ones people listen to are the ones with a passion for what they are saying.
Are you developing a social media strategy at your company? You should be because social media is here to stay.
But don't stop there. Look for people with passion to give it legs. Encourage and develop that passion. Harness it by giving it an outlet.
Most importantly, recognize the people who evangelize your products for their energy, creativity and passion.
Why bother? Because evangelism without passion is just... advertising.