Many will say that Social Marketing’s biggest challenge is monetization, that is who’s going to pay for all of these sites. This is a big issue but that won’t kill the beast- why? Because when old ones fail new ones will come along and start over with fresh money.
Others see the challenge in the fact that people waste lots of time online at these sites not getting work done. This is a big issue because managers are very concerned with waste and inefficiency in the office. That’s the reason many major corporations walled off the social media sites to begin with. (If you work at many major companies they don’t allow employees to access Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, etc.) They said it was for security to prevent viruses, but it was really for efficiency. They see it as wasting time.
However, I don’t think that’s the biggest issue. The biggest issue facing Social Marketing is trust.
Chris Brogan speaks of this in his new book “Trust Agents” which is an excellent read and you should buy it today. It’s a very difficult thing for a company to trust that people will represent the company properly. To trust that the employees will do the best thing for the company.
The issue is that it all gets recorded for posterity in Google. “We can’t have something like that out there for anyone to find on Google.”
We confuse the fact of “it’s in Google so everyone can see it” with the fact of “how many people will see it?”
Mike Moran made an excellent point of this in his book “Do it Wrong Quickly” (another excellent read) pointing out that today you can make a mistake and put it on the web and then quickly fix it. And the only people who see the error are those who happened along when it was there. (And that too many marketers are still thinking in terms of ink on paper as being impossible to fix.)
One of the cornerstones of friendship is the idea that you’ll forgive a friend’s misstep. When a friend says something mean you chalk it up to them having a bad day. When the clerk at the 7-11 is mean you think they’re always like that.
If your business can establish a relationship with your customer they will forgive the occasional transgression. Without that relationship, they will think you dropped the ball and go looking elsewhere for a supplier.
Managers need to learn to trust that the inevitable mistakes your employees will make can be fixed because of the relationships they develop with your customers. This is the biggest challenge in social media, learning to trust the relationships.
Give me 1 Good Reason why you don’t trust your employees.
Tanks for reading,Chris