Are you helping or hindering the social media brand?
Attending a social media conference/seminar/workshop these days can be hit or miss. While the program can outline what topics will be discussed it is often difficult to know at what level of experience/interest these discussions will be pitched – a mixed audience of those looking for an introduction; those after the finer points in creating or delivering a strategy; those wanting case studies; those wanting new ideas – it seems a group is always going to leave disappointed. [Sidenote: this can be a costly exercise and each wasted event means missing out on more relevant events down the path, particularly in corporate environments where professional development plans are capped – please be more clear!!]
Considering the diverse opinions surrounding social media, some of the more thought provoking and interesting events I have been to have pitted two adversaries against each other on something topical. Often one point of view fails to impress if only because the advocate is unable to articulate and justify their argument. I see this all to often within the industry so it stands to reason that as we struggle to present social media as a viable and relevant marketing channel, our collective voice can falter if we don’t consistently present a reasonable and justified case.
Amber Naslund has written a great post on altitudebranding.com, Critics and Evangelists: A Communication Starter. It aims to facilitate constructive discussions with gentle reminders for both sides of the table to take the time to understand where the opposing opinion is founded.
Are we going into the discussion with passion or reason?
Amber suggests the following points of discussion:
What perceptions do you have about the usefulness of social media within a business? What have you heard that reinforces those notions, for better or worse?
What information would help you feel more comfortable about considering social media strategies as a part of our mix?
What are you most concerned about regarding the risks or implications of social media? What’s the worst case scenario you can imagine, should we undertake such a thing?
Why are these concerns top of mind? Is there anything else we do as a company that has similar risks?
Have you undertaken new or unfamiliar strategies in your role previously? How did you establish a foundation for that and mitigate risk?
Are you concerned that this will somehow negatively impact your role? That of your team? Your available resources? Why or why not?