Twitter terror: why business managers should be afraid of social media

In the past I’ve been rightly accused of getting a bit wordy on here with some of our more analytical posts, so today we’re going to try something a bit different.

Here’s a proposition I want to test before I do something as stupid as say it in public, and we’d welcome your feedback.

There are two reasons why business managers should be afraid of social media. Only two. Here they are:

  1. You are doing something you shouldn’t be, and people will find out.
  2. You are not doing something you should be, and people will find out.

The only caveat I’m going to put on the above is that what you “should be” or “shouldn’t be” doing is of course open to interpretation. But then, that’s why you have a PR department…

Thoughts, criticisms and opinions all welcome, but please try to stay on topic.

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4 Comments
26

Feb
2010

Alex

Afraid, or grateful for the opportunity to correct their practices with transparency?

26

Feb
2010

Michael

Good points raised – but ‘afraid’ is surely the wrong adjective here. Managers should instead be ‘wary’ of social media. If used correctly social media is a wholly positive phenomenon that links people together in a way inconceivable in the past. Consumers can now speak directly to managers of businesses on a relatively informal level at the click of a button. Managers have to be wary because their response will remain in the blogosphere forever. Be wary but never afraid…

26

Feb
2010

Dave Ganly

Yes, absolutely correct proposition. What I find difficult is the shear amount of effort involved – no doubt not an issue for the larger company with a proper PR department, but SM requires a lot of attention, and it’s so real-time that it’s too easy to only focus on it, at the expense of other activities.

26

Feb
2010

Grant Smith

I take the points above re “afraid” and transparency…but here’s the problem I have with the transparency argument.

You should just do the right thing. The end.

If you’re not doing the right thing, then yes, I would also argue that social media provides unprecedented opportunities for people to take a crack at you. Hence the fear factor.

However, I’d also argue that the social media spotlight should not be the reason for a company to behave transparently. They should do so because it’s the right thing to do.

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