Companies CAN’T “join the conversation”

My colleague Jeremiah recently posted about why some don’t need to join the conversation.  He makes two key points:

  1. Brands can and should use a combination of social computing tools can help brands engage individuals – e.g. voting, tagging, and sharing – which are not "conversational."
  2. All people do not want to participate with you in the same way.

About a week ago, I blogged about how it’s what’s on the inside [of an organization] that counts.  That means people, i.e. individuals on your payroll must be ready to participate in social media.

Your brand can’t blog.  Unless you’re going for comedy, you shouldn’t have a corporate mascot like Aunt Jemima, Jack In The Box, or the Brawny Man blogging.

If you or someone in your company is thinking of blog authorship behind the curtain of a corporate logo, stop and make sure that your organization is actually ready to get social with the outside world.  Because a company can’t participate in a conversation, only individuals representing a company can.

This thinking comes naturally to individuals in firms who understand this internally.  Fortunately, it can be taught. (But some will never learn – all people do not want to participate in the same way.)

Being: Peter Kim