Just when you thought it was safe to embrace blogs as a component of your marketing communications strategy, along comes social media.
Suffice it to say, the Internet has leveled the playing field in terms of who owns the brand and how it will be marketed. Consumers really have the upper-hand. It’s a buyer’s market. In these days of the “participatory” web, will your company be ready? Do you have a plan in place to engage consumers in the new Web 2.0?
My friend, Toby Bloomberg, is a social media consultant who makes this observation: “Social media/blogs often change an organization’s business paradigm. The challenge is to ensure the culture of an organization can accept an open communication model between internal staff and external stakeholders.”
Your organizational culture will play a large role in determining your strategy, or lack thereof. If there is an unwillingness to be open (think transparent, honest), then you aren’t ready to engage consumers in the vast, unchartered territory known as the blogosphere. According to Toby, it takes the following:
- Trust from management that allows employees an unfiltered voice in the conversation.
- Trust from employees that they understand and buy-in to values, goals but can express themselves in an authentic voice.
- Trust from customers and stakeholders that their voices will be heard and listened to.
If you feel you need some help in developing a comprehensive strategy that supports your business goals and doesn’t turn your organizational culture topsy-turvy, let me recommend Toby. Developing strategy is her strong suit and I know she will serve your organization’s needs very well.