Does your company need social media? Maybe not. To quote Howard Morgan, former head of Procter & Gamble: “The quickest way to kill a brand that is off in quality is to promote it aggressively.” But now there is a quicker way: social media. If your company doesn’t make a product you believe in, or a service you can evangelize, social media marketing is not for you.
Is your company willing to listen to its customers, accept constructive criticism and then respond with meaningful action? If the answer is “no” then it is unlikely that you will be able to embrace social media. The biggest social media mistake is to put more attention on speaking, or outbound messaging, than on listening. You need to ‘be social’, not ‘do social’, or as some would say: “grow big ears.”
Does your company believe in an open culture where social media can enhance a transparent flow of information? If your company is shrouded in a veil of secrecy where all communications must flow through multiple layers of approval, and managers remain hidden from public scrutiny, social media marketing will be difficult to execute in any meaningful manner. That’s not to say that your company can’t keep proprietary information to itself, or that its executives have to tweet their way through the day on Twitter. But the autocratic structure of many Russian companies is anathema to the free-spirited exchange of thoughts and ideas that are at the core of social media.
For all other companies, the question about adopting social media is not “if” but “when” or “how”.