Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Is Social Media Personal or Corporate?

The answer is both. It’s a cliche, but social media is all about people. The reason most corporate blogs fail is because they lack the personality, humour, critical eye, and the failings (even) of a real human being. I've heard of companies putting typos in their blog on purpose to seem more human. Your brand is your personality. Use it in your posts. Even a bank can be witty.

It’s the same for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Free and unfettered social interaction and discussion is anathema to strict corporate communications – so for social media to work, senior managers need to loosen those strings a little and allow staff to be themselves online. It’s a big ask! The issue is even more delicate when using services like LinkedIn – in which the account is personal (not corporate) and the contacts and reputation each person builds are their own, not their company’s. This personal vs corporate line needs to be drawn clearly and early on in the process.