On SocialMediaToday this morning, I read a nice story-oriented interview
with Valeria Matoni
. At one point she’s asked for advice to companies on how to better implement social media to effectively bridge old media with new media. One of her good responses is to educate your company on new media
. This struck me as particularly helpful because it’s sometimes the case that the group focused on new media has little ongoing dialog with the rest of the company—or that the management authorizing it has little understanding of what it takes to sustain the commitment to it.
The participation of any organization in the online community they’re hoping to draw around them is really key to making it work. The more people who understand how it works, how it supports the business, and how they can help move it forward, the better. That’s why community managers need to focus on managing community within their own organizations as well as looking toward the customer. The folks in the social media effort are links in the connection between company and community, and they need to gather the support and energies of the rest of the organization behind them. Regular updates across business functions, focusing on user voice and the value the organization gets from it make a huge difference to understanding how the connection to customers via social media is contributing to business objectives.
When the company’s open to it, getting more employees involved, whether or not they’re in the social media group, can enrich the relationship you build with people who gather around your brand.