For the last couple of years, I’ve been touting the opportunity for companies and brands that are unlikely to actively participate in social media to not ignore the space. Why are they unlikely? There are a number of reasons. Legal, regulatory and disclosure considerations in healthcare and financial services are the most obvious. Some companies just aren’t resourced to manage social media. Others started, got bit and have run away.
There’s nothing stopping any organization from becoming social media friendly.
Social media engagement can be active or passive. Active organizations get right in there. Brand advocates participate in the conversation and become recognize contributors to the community. Social channels are both an input and output, used to help shape the message and build relevance. Passive organizations on the other hand use social media primarily as a listening mechanism. The insights gleaned from the conversation and community activity are used to shape communications and shared content.
Almost every organization has a communication function. Today, effective communication is influenced more than ever before by the inputs of the community. Customers, consumers, employees and business partners share thoughts and ideas that are top of mind. Their opinions offer context. Organizations that listen to social media and other channels of input can leverage insights gained to shape truly targeted, useful and relevant content. Package in the right format, this information is easily shared and woven into the conversations that surround an organization or brand.
We call this being social media friendly. Any organization can be social media friendly if it’s people take the time to listen and craft great content.