Social media scandals vs convincing the bosses

Posted by David Meerman Scott 07:24 AM on June 08, 2011

As a marketing speaker I connect with many executives around the world about social media in the workplace. For the most part, the bosses are eager to implement the new tools of real-time communications in their organizations. They see the tremendous benefits of engaging in the ways that customers prefer.

However, a significant percentage (maybe 25 percent or so) let their fear of social media allow them resist real-time engagement.

Scandals give bosses an excuse to say "no"

Shutterstock_no Many of those who are reluctant cite a relentless list of scandals involving inappropriate use of social media.

Earlier this week, we had #weinergate sexting scandal where Twitter was used by a U.S. Congressman to send racy photos to young women.

Today there's a report of a Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles employee fired over vulgar language in tweets directed at customers. One such tweet: "I just want to yell (expletive) you to all these customers."

The media's obsession with the negative side of real-time communications means that you need to redouble your efforts in communicating the positive.

You need to talk up the benefits

Talk to your bosses about how Nordstrom does Twitter right. Or about how GM Holden uses Facebook. Or how Eloqua made nearly a million dollars from one blog post written by CEO Joe Payne.

These are just a few examples from my blog. You can find more in the case studies category. And there are many such examples cited on other blogs too.

Your job as a change agent for your company isn't made any easier by the scandals that the media loves to write about. But you know that the benefits obviously outweigh the risks.

It is your job to convince the bosses to say yes.

Image: Shutterstock / Archipoch

David Meerman Scott

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