A fundamental rule among many arts, especially writing is that you must be willing to share yourself to some degree. In order to connect with your audience, you have to open up to allow for those connections. This doesn’t come at all easy to everyone or even most, but it comes much harder to corporations and marketers.
Social media consultant, Jay Baer blogged recently about business must be ready to “Open the Kimono” and give people a glimpse of your corporate culture.
It’s so obvious but still so difficult for many.
“Just showing up to the party and treating social media like something else for you to check off your corporate to-do list doesn’t humanize your company. It doesn’t create kinship. It doesn’t drive purchase intent.” – Jay Baer
As Jay points out, you don’t just ‘do’ social you have to ‘be’ social! Let that thought percolate a bit. It’s not about the tools or the agencies or the stats. It’s about having a culture in your company which IS social. This means more open communication both internally and externally. This requires you to loosen the tie just a bit and lighten up. But most of all it means that you realize a business or a brand is defined by the people working for it and the people buying from it. And people are social (among many other things).
Opening up: start blogging
We have to stop being information hoarders and start being content producers and sharers. No one is suggesting you give away the ‘11 herbs and spices’, but ask yourself if your definition of a corporate secret (as opposed to consumer education) is valid.
Blog. Just do it! And if your blog is nothing but shameless self promotion then just don’t do it. Obviously people expect to talk about your products or services, but focus the bulk of your content on educating people.
It’s OK to mention your company family picnic. It’s OK to have some corporate personality. You just have to know how much information is too much information. As for taboo subjects, the basic rule of thumb would be to avoid the same kind of topics you do at any social function.
You likely already have someone in mind within your company who has the good judgment and innate social skills to handle the responsibility. In fact, unless your corporate culture is a disaster, I can assure you the talent is there. Nurture this talent and form a core of social people within your corporate culture to help lead the way.
Oh and link the really good corporate culture stuff on your blog to your recruiting section, it can’t hurt.