When does social networking go too far? by Aimee Postle

01 Aimee PostleAt Kinetic, we are all still relatively new to the social media game. We now all have Linked In profiles – although some need more information inputting than others. 

We have experimented with blogspot – and may go back – but, for the time being, we are sticking with our blog here on the Kinetic website.

We’ve explored MySpace and Facebook on behalf of clients and we are looking into Twitter. We started podcasts a few years back and have explored vodcasts as well. All things to be developed in the future.

But, when does social networking go too far? By this, I mean, when are you just uploading content because you feel you should and not because you can discern any tangible benefit.

This You Tube video – which I was introduced to at a social media seminar at Aston Science Park by Joanna Geary (formerly of The Birmingham Post and now moving onwards and upwards to The Times) – highlights how channels and audiences have changed.

One of the most important lessons I learned at the seminar, however, was that social networking for the sake of it can do more damage than not becoming involved in the first place.

A sustainable communications campaign needs to target different audiences with different messages – the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) principle. However, there needs to be a consistency across the board because technology now means that more people have access to more information.

For example, you are a French company. You insist all of your English employees learn French and practice on French news sites. You send out internal memos telling your staff that the company is doing well and everything is fine. But, you announce in the French newspapers that you will be reducing your English presence and making redundancies. Your English team read all about this on the French websites as part of their company-sponsored education. 

Sending out mixed messages over multiple platforms just isn’t sustainable.

It is about being where your audience expects you to be – if they expect to find you on Linked In or Facebook then you should be there – but using that platform responsibly. We need to move beyond the traditional push-pull idea of transmitting the information that we want people to have. 

Social media is about engaging in discussion and this may not always be the discussion you wanted to instigate. Sustainable communications is down to being responsive – whether that be on the end of the telephone, email, blog or Twitter.

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One Response

  1. […] When does social networking go too far?, 17 March 2009 […]

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