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Two Corporate Objections to Social Media

Whenever I get into a conversation with somebody about social media and how it relates to their company, two objections typically come up (assuming the company isn’t already involved with social media).  People say these things in a number of ways, but really it all boils down to just two issues.  

Social Media doesn’t apply to us“.  Oh really?  That’s like saying the economy doesn’t apply to you because you aren’t a banker.  Just because you don’t deal with online media and networks on a day to day basis, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t involved.  I remember being in conversation in the early and mid 1990s with people that were pretty sure that “this internet thing” was just a fad.  It was going to be a place where people could play games and waste time by sending messages back and forth.  While both those things are certainly true and prevelant, it would be challenging to find somebody these days that doesn’t think that the internet is so much more.  In the same way, social media isn’t just a fad.  When MySpace started making it onto the evening news, companies and individuals alike poo-pooed social media as a fad, or something that “just the kids did”.  Today it is so much more.  If you and your brand (your company, your music, your writings, your thoughts) aren’t participating in the social media forum, you are already behind.

We need to control the message, so we can’t get involved“.  This is a statement based on fear, and some of it probably righteously so.  Companies (particularly non-profits) are paralyzed by the fact that there may actually be a multi-way conversation about a product, service or idea.  In a closed room, dozens of PR and Marketing gurus gathered for weeks on end to come up with the message that was going to be broadcast regarding Product X and they don’t want to mess with that.  What if somebody doesn’t like Product X?  Certainly we don’t want others to know about it! We cannot build a place where people talk about our company and we have no control over the conversation.  I’ve got news for you, Mr. CEO…they already are talking about you, you just aren’t involved.  This is akin to burying your head in the sand.  What you don’t know can’t hurt you, right?  Wrong.

This blog is going to explore the community that is happening all over the world, and we’re going to talk about how you can get involved.  There are some companies that do an amazing job at participating, reacting and guiding (companies like Dell and Ford) but unfortunately there are too many more that don’t.

Stay tuned, this is going to be fun.

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By Matt Singley

Personal: husband to Alison, father to four amazing kids. I used to live a fast but enjoyable life in Los Angeles, now I have chickens on acreage in Charlotte, North Carolina. Just a bit different. I'm an advocate for cycling as much as you can and eating as cleanly as you can afford. Professional: I'm the CEO of Singley + Mackie, a creative digital agency that serves well-known lifestyle and entertainment companies around the world. Clients include Microsoft, Samsung, Hulu, YP and others. If you want to find the more-professional me, go to http://singleymackie.com