Wednesday, July 14, 2010

When The Game Changes, So Do The Rules



Over the last five years, social media has developed into a professional role to aid businesses, politicians, non-profits, the arts and more. What's most interesting is to see how this "new" industry is changing the game - and how it's changed to fit particular organizations.

Today in the Examiner - DC's free daily - highlighted this career, and how some orgs have used social media in different ways.

It was neat to compare how two social media directors use Twitter in two very opposite ways. See, part of the challenge with tweeting on behalf of a whole organization is that, in some cases, you need everything approved.

New Media Director Neil Sroka runs the Twitter account for Secretary of Commerce Locke (@SecLocke). He says they've "cut down on a lot of red tape" but that "we have to follow procedure."

Lindy Kyzer, social media consultant for the US Army (@USarmy), explained that she has been encouraged to "be edgy" in the tweets. She used the account to report and respond to the Fort Hood shootings - as they were happening. "Our efforts would not have been as successful if I had an intense approval process."

Is one way better than the other? Who knows. But I think an organization needs to decide what fits best with the company culture - that's how they'll know how to best approach social media.

2 comments:

LindyK said...

Meg - good post! And a question worth asking! I think one difference is when you're representing a brand versus representing a senior leader. We do have some leaders in the military with social media accounts that are managed by staff, and in that case I do think it's a good idea to run the post by that individual - it's their name behind the post, after all. But when you're using a brand account I believe you need to have someone manage the account with the authority to be immediate - that's how you can be effective in a Fort Hood or crisis communications situation.

Good organizations work through these questions and hire the right people to help them through them!

-Lindy Kyzer

Meg B said...

LIndy - thanks! My non-profit is working on its own social media plan right, so I was intrigued to the read the Express story. Thanks for your tips!

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