I’m afraid that was the sound of my head hitting my desk. I’ve been dealing with people who have ambitious social media plans. They want to blog, start Twitter streams and Facebook pages, and run a Kickstarter campaign. They want to put forums on their organizations’ websites so their followers (what followers?) can have discussions with one another.
I go to their Twitter accounts and discover that they do, indeed, have 100 followers. However, they’ve never bothered to follow most of them back.
“Oh. Is that important?” they ask me.
Perhaps it’s just as well. Five of the followers turn out to be come-ons for porn sites.
“Oh, you mean I can block those?”
On the one hand, I have to admire people who fearlessly wade in to Twitter and Facebook and never bother to figure out what any of the settings or tools can do. On the other hand, social media is not a game where you get points just for showing up. You have to learn how to play the game, as well.
Twitter streams overrun by spammers, Facebook pages full of leaderless followers, or social media accounts of any kind neglected by their administrators speak louder than a dozen clever posts or tweets. And, unfortunately, what they say can tarnish an organization’s reputation.
The good news is that there are solutions: Hundreds of online resources on how to do social media, most of them pretty good. The bad news is that most organizations don’t seem to realize that they have a problem.