Social Media is slightly less complicated than rocket science, but with no doubt it is a phenomenon which changed the way people communicate with one another. Social Media, in essence, is about total transparency and genuine communications free of manipulative game minds. There is no IF, there is no BUT in the world of Social Media; otherwise they would have called it Business Media. Social Media is therefore, about being intelligent about honesty and transparency.
Social Media is simple but at the same time sophisticated; due to the very nature of communications. Unlike other types of communication theories, which are often based on "circumstances", there is only one type of communication in Social Media; symmetrical. This is the both the simple and sophisticated sides of the medium. Simple as there's only one solution to how become successful; but sophisticated since not many individuals and brands are still willing to come out of their so loved traditional comfort zone
As some may agree, Social Media is not a machine to bombard people with PR and marketing messages. Moreover, if people get upset with your messages or find out there are little truth and honesty in your intention, they have the luxury of broadcasting their messages about your brand to both who you reached as well as couldn't reach. So, it is vital to get the basics right in Social Media.
The old world of PR and one way communication avenue brands owned for a while is over; and their effort to control Social Media is everyday proving them unsuccessful. Isn't it the time to realise and acknowledge collaboration with people and listening to them more often?
I remember back in 2008 JCDecaux was removing any negative comments from where they had their press releases published; especially after they were caught on having unsecured database where they stored CVs of those applied for jobs to the company. It is quite fascinating to see how being genuine is winning its way despite restless efforts by emotional intelligence as well as traditional communications folk. Today is all about being genuinely transparent and honest; otherwise legal and ethical consequences should be expected.
There are always audience for one's thoughts and ideas about your brand; and Social Media united people across the globe. If a country is having sweet dreams in one part of the world, there is a nation awake in another country working hard and probably over their lunch break check hash-tags on Twitter, blog posts updates via friendfeed etc. So how strategic is your Social Media plan and how well have you positioned your brand in social channels?
As it is evident above, incorporating very well thought through Social Media strategy is a critical task, regardless of size and country of origin. Ignoring Social Media and power of sharing by people may result in losing market share and ultimately being permanently stopped by the red lights. Carphone Warehouse is for example a typical example when it comes to ignoring the power of sharing by people. That of course didn't cost Carphone Warehouse their business but, it did cost them a few hundred pounds and their reputation on Twitter.
Having said that, investment and commitment must be well justified because, Social Media is really fun and you can easily distracted by it; if your goals and objectives are not clear enough. Thus, it is crucial to develop bespoke Social Media strategy and implementation plan suitable to your business with objectives in-line with your corporate goals.
There are many individuals out in the marketplace calling themselves "Social Media Evangelist" or "Social Media Expert" but when talking to them about Social Media , PASSION is absent in their tone and body language; simply because they use Social Media as a buzz word to satisfy their bank account; so be careful who you're trusting to hand over the life and reputation of your brand to.
Social Media is not a buzz word like "Social Media Evangelist" or "Social Media Expert"; it is a communication channel which if deployed wrongly, the channel practitioners and savvy users would hardly ever give a second chance to your brand. Those behind Social Media MUST understand the principles of strategic communications, both in personal and professional life. Generally speaking, anything other than truth is a lie and liars aren't so welcomed in the territory of Social Media; unless they want to experience the embarrassment of being named and shamed.
Follow Ehsan Khodarahmi on Twitter: www.twitter.com/eksays