Internal/External buy-in to social media is tougher than you think

Interesting how the intersection of what I’m thinking coincides with what others are too. Take for example the Forrester “social maturity” survey which wants to know which companies are ahead of the curve in implementing social technologies for both external use (i.e., for customers/consumers) and/or internal use (i.e., for employees/partners)?

I had been thinking pretty hard lately that the more that I talk to various companies of various sizes one thing is becoming quite clear. My passion and understanding of the power of social is not theirs. They may want to be part of the conversation but it’s not the same as mine, or the same for other similar organizations or competitors.

It’s all over the board.

Part of the reality is that companies want to be like their competition, or may just want to tap into the stream, but they want to do it on a 9-5 basis say maybe 3 times a week. The rub is, they want to enjoy all that socialness has to offer externally but are not as committed as they need to be internally. Which begs the question.

What level of buy-in and to what extent of buy-in internally do you need with social media in order to be successful externally?

Forrester is dead on in where they are going with this. It is clear that many companies have made some major strides in planning and organizing for the use of social technologies. But one of the primary questions we know they are asking is “where does my company stack up  compared to my peers and competitors in the use of social media-both externally and internally?” It’s natural to want to know how you stack up.

Is it a chicken vs. egg thing? Internal or external? Can you do one without the other? Are you doing one and not the other? Are you doing anything? Or do you still think it’s a fad? Take the Forrester Survey

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Will the economy change the way you blog? or the blogs you read?

I’m currently watching engaged in a lively saturday morning discussion with Jeremiah Owyang, and Ted Murphy Founder/CEO of IZEA on whether bloggers are going to become more of an advertising vehicle for brands. Though this not neccesarily a new topic, it may be becoming prominent again based on a lot of external economic factors. It started with this:

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Jeremiah goes on to say “Bottom Line: Expect more brands to ‘buy’ bloggers and tweeters as the economy dips, this truly is cost effective marketing”

But is it? Will you, as a blogger become more open to being paid by a brand or company to shill their product to your loyal readers who come to your site because of your candor and POV? Won’t that change the scope and the depth of your posts? Is the economy such that we now will come expect that a Chris Brogan is now going to start pitching product? The easy answer is, “just avoid any paid posts”. But what if you don’t know? Chris might be the exception in giving full disclosure of the paid post.

My tweeted thought:

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You as the loyal reader will now be the audience to a pitch from your author, full disclosure is not a prerequisite either, although Ted Murphy does mention:

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So how do you feel about that? Is it going to change now how you read or what you read from your favorite blogs?

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Will full disclosure matter? Will you read a blog post knowing it is essentially a paid pitch for a product? Isn’t that the same as a celebrity spokesperson? What if they pitch but don’t tell, because they know they will lose readers if the readers knew that it was a paid post?

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What’s not evident is the post Jeremiah is referring to on Chris Brogan’s site is on Dad-o-matic and not Chrisbrogan.com 2 distinct and very different blog sites. So the questions remain:

Transparent?

Authentic?

Sustainable?

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So there’s more to this Twitstream but the question is more geared towards the reader, since bloggers have been getting paid for quite some time now for paid posts. It all comes down to the “big bloggers” and theirloyal  readers. Will your loyalty wane if you know going forward, that the post you are reading, is a paid, sponsored post? Do you care?

Social Media Platform follow up

I appreciate everyones comments and was made aware of a post by Jermiah Owyang from Forrester in which he compiled a pretty comprehensive list of white label or private label social networking platforms. Maybe this will help clarify things. I was looking at a very specific group of social media platform providers and not necessarily open source social media platforms or ready made solutions such as Ning. However, this does not mean that I am discounting the other players in the social media platform landscape.I just think that we need to segment them a little bit better since each offers a different spn and offering.