There are several reasons why I think businesses hamstring their social efforts.
1. Companies Fear Social, Fear the Permanence of the Web
First, there’s an overriding, if misguided, pressure to get things “perfect” on social, which is sometimes used as an excuse to avoid getting involved at all.
The permanent nature of anything that’s posted on the web tends to freak out the “control the message” crowd who has their fingers poised over the delete button to instantly erase ill-advised comments or content.
We’re never far removed from the latest social snafu by a public figure, or the next one to come, and that fear can be paralyzing.
2. Companies Mistrust Employees Instead of Empowering Them
Second, there’s a certain amount of mistrust of employees by corporations on social channels.
What if they say something stupid? What if they take a photocopy of their posterior at the company Christmas party and post it on Facebook? What if our perfect reputation is trashed by one Tweet? What if, what if, what if?
On top of all that (or in some instances because of it) marketing departments are more concerned than ever with putting out the perfect message rather than concentrating on responding and engaging effectively.
When the onus is on perfection, a single tweet or status update can take weeks to craft—and being human takes a back seat to what they think is “branding.”
The Solution is Connection
Building a social brand is dependent on allowing people to connect.
[Ted Rubin speaking at Social Fresh Conference]
While advertising and analytics are still powerful tools, social interaction and conversation are still the best way to humanize your brand.
You just need to provide that real, human presence.