I’ve been reading with interest the reactions to companies who have stumbled in the social arena. In particular on blogs outlining Habitat UK’s hashtag spam, those commenting reeled at the idea of having an intern execute such a highly visible part of the communications strategy. And yet at the same time there is disbelief around the policies in place for US Marines, US Open competitors and on game day for the NFL.
Closer to home, Mat Rogers tweeted his way into trouble with the NRL and at the Social Media Summit in Melbourne the heavily government based audience continually expressed concern at trying to have a two way conversation when it takes forever to get copy approved.
While contemplating whether companies should hire, outsource or DIY their social media strategy, JD Rucker states “having a poorly run social media strategy is worse than not having one at all”. At the same time Nancy Williams is adamant (as I’m sure many of you are): social media without conversation isn’t social media.
When it comes to sports and politics, the consequences of a social media stumble can mean more then just crisis communications. (And of all people to stumble, sportsmen and the public service seem to be the very best at it and I doubt your clear/strict/enforced social media policy is going to change that much.) This is based on rules and regulations set in stone long before the rise of blogs and Twitter.
So while those involved push for changes to allow a more open channel of communication, will we (the public, fans, advocates, constituents, lookers-on, social media mavens) allow them to approach the medium with baby steps? If they won’t let us comment, will we share their content? If they won’t publish our feedback, will we give them our opinion? If they can’t answer our questions, will we seek out (and trust) their advocates instead?