Can we all agree that Social Media has lost its novelty? 

Maybe it’s me, but i find myself cutting back on Social Media in my personal life.  But in my corporate world, Social Media is her to stay, the conversation about your business is getting louder and louder every day and like it or not, you can’t do a thing to control it.  So then, how do we control it?

One of the most recent changes I have noted is that there are more and more voices talking, kind of like being at a party.  Historically, there were a few strong voices, but most of us just listened.  Today there are multiple conversations amongst the multiple visitors, some focused, some not.

Another trend I am noticing is that the companies or consumers are driving the topics to be more narrow.  In some of my most recent work, I think we caught onto this trend early and launched specialized FaceBook and MySpace sites for “Red Dress Paper Doll” or “Recessa Annie” rather than for “Go Red For Women” or “CPR”.  I liken this to fansites for DQ Blizzard rather than the Dairy Queen corporation as a whole.  Segmenting the fan base by their taste seems to be a great idea, but there will be a time when the firm will need to leverage each of the different groups and today, seeing how to do that is the challenges.

So if we have the “fans” talking to each other, the corporation just gets to sit back and listen, right?  Well mostly…..yes.  At the highest level, the firm has to setting he strategy and be aware of what outlets the brand is being discussed in.  We have to do our best to set the tone and establish “walls” so that we set the focus and lastly we need to be there to correct and misinformation that may be put out there or reach out to individuals who feel wronged (privately if you can) to save that relationship.

Another challenge I see is that not all companies are centralized, many are franchisors with local entrepeneurs who also want to deliver messages about their store(s) or talk about their product(s).  In my current situation, we have a very similar structure where we have Regional Affiliate offices and beneath them State and Local affiliates.  How can HQ keep the message on point in this structure? 

When we launched our corporate Social Media strategy a few years back, we considered this and released a guidelines document outlining some of the rules we all would play by.  We also formed a cross corporate task team made up of all lines of business and representatives in the affiliate structure that meets monthly to discuss what is working and what is not.  But I will say that having a central vs local social media strategy remains to be a very big hurdle for a lot of organizations and will only get more complex in the future.

Now if you will excuse me, I think I am going to tweet this whole post 🙂