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Demanding Personal Interaction (III)

June 17, 2009

So what is this personal or real interaction? Social media can only be a successful tool if the person you are trying to engage with knows that the organization is “there” and cares about the dialogue. If organizations are inauthentic, or show little interest in the conversation it is just as bad as someone having coffee with a friend and doing nothing other than staring off into space. People do not like to be ignored. So by “real” I mean personal. Social networking is personal and the conversation has to be authentic and a two-way dialogue. Organizations must be committed to having these open dialogues with their constituents. This also means that there is the potential for individuals to post statements publicly that are not terribly flattering for the organization. The organization must be willing to allow this to happen. If people feel that the organization is controlling content (or worse manipulating or manufacturing it), they will not engage though social media. Take for example Wal-Mart. In 2006 there was a blog on the internet about Jim and Laura, who were supposed to be a couple who were spending time crossing the country in an RV and sleeping in Wal-Mart parking lots. This blog was very successful until it was discovered that it was being written by Wal-Mart’s public relations firm, Edelman and was a fake. Backlash was quick and scored a huge amount a bad publicity and lack of trust online for the company. People dislike being misled, and if organizations are not authentic online it will be discovered, and it will be almost impossible to regain trust.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Rob permalink
    June 17, 2009 4:46 pm

    Have you seen this? http://www.arikhanson.com/2009/06/12/live-from-blogpotomac/

    A lot of what you talk about, then mention as well.

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