As Hajo quite rightly pointed out in a comment on my earlier post, of course the other side of understanding that ‘social media’ is really a giant global ongoing conversation is knowing how to participate in that conversation without, if you’ll pardon my French, being a total dick. 5 or so years ago, a designer at Fjord and I put together a little comic strip illustrating what rather a lot of brands still think is acceptable behaviour:
This is of course terrible behaviour, no matter who you (think you) are. I agree with Hajo: if you don’t have anything relevant to say, then don’t say anything. If you’ve got a story to tell, by all means, tell it. But if your story isn’t true, or doesn’t ring true, be prepared to be punished by your audience. Corporate self-awareness is just as important as its personal counterpart, and you’ve got to know who you really are, as a brand, and not just who you wish you were. It’s just like when you were at school: announcing you were cool didn’t get you very far. You’ve got to prove it to get in on the game.
Thanks, Hajo, for bringing it up! Convenient too, as I’m now caught up after my missing post from last week.