My name is Brian Beaumont, and I’m not famous. If I were, I’d most certainly be posting socially for the people who are interested in the one who is Beaumont. Everybody would know about the restaurants Beaumont dines at, the people Beaumont shakes hands with, and they could all read Beaumont’s opinion on Toronto drivers and the ravages of salt spread out during winter in this city.
Reading the comments would give them insight into the workings of Beaumont, who Beaumont is, what Beaumont thinks, and they would slowly gain perspective on my direction in this life(of Brian) and the exciting events that lie on the horizon for this one person named Beaumont. Even more insidious, posting back to Beaumont’s comments would give the followers of Beaumont a sense of engagement making them even more loyal.
This loyalty would add strength to the Beaumont brand.
So, why are large organizations not benefiting from social media to the same extent as individuals?
If I’m to be a case example, when I read existing media from larger organizations, I do not feel engaged. Instead, I feel like I’m being advertised to. I feel like the communication is a one-way street.
So, as a follower of others, what DOES engage me?
In my free time I’m also very interested in space flight. And sure, I can read every press release, watch every video, and pore over every design schematic from the 1960’s. But it feels very distant and cold when compared to the postings of an individual who can offer me the granularity I need to feel directly engaged with the subject matter.
For me, what a famous person had for dinner is akin to the inclination angle of a space launch or “specific impulse” of a proposed rocket engine. We’ll only get that information long after the fact, if at all.
Space flight is only one example. It applies to all larger organizations.
Today, an individual who is interested in any company’s products or services must wait until the marketing communications of the company reveals them. Consumers currently have no way of becoming involved with design elements of a product or service until it is launched; they have nothing to anticipate, nothing to look forward to. On the flip-side, organizations have no way to benefit from the informal consumer input that is being freely offered by their target demographic.
If loyal brand followers don’t feel a part of the process, your organization may quickly lose their loyalty to a competitor. Social integration with your consumers is fast becoming essential; those organizations who adapt quickly will see competitive benefit.
Why is this so difficult for large organizations?
The person with authority to write on behalf of the organization is rarely ever the same person who actually holds the relevant information. Big news gets out, eventually, but the milestones along the way are fruitlessly washed away forever. The communication between those two individuals is disjointed, slow, and error-prone. There has to be a better channel.
This “Content Owner” doesn’t and, quite often, shouldn’t, have privileges of posting on the company’s behalf. There has been no way to control and manage the dissemination of potentially confidential information, libel, or malicious posts by disgruntled staffers. It should be expected that the very same brilliant scientist who can tell the world about ‘specific impulse’ may well also hold personal opinions that will sink your entire company. There has to be a safeguard.
Collaborative Social CMS platforms, such as CastTHAT, provide this channel and safeguard. The basic premise is to provide an approval workflow between the content and the authority that enables better, faster, and more direct communication.
Additionally, it enables large organizations to extract the latent value from their social intellectual property. Managed information is readily accessible and can be syndicated easily.
For example, information can be used internally such as in a sales enablement source and then reinforced seamlessly through a periodic communication, such as an internal electronic newsletter. Suddenly, your sales teams know everything there is to know: When is it available? What is the value proposition?And where is the relevant collateral?
Externally, that very same information, once approved by management and legal, can then immediately be sent externally to various social media outlets, blog sites, RSS feeds, and external electronic newsletters. Since the information is already warehoused, this can all happen in minutes with the click of a mouse.
Imagine a manufacturing company launching a new product. With CastTHAT, multiple individuals can submit information about that product such as part drawings, specifications, and photographs. And then, that information will remain housed within the content management system for active use within any and all internal and external media.
CastTHAT’s minimally-invasive architecture allows an administrator to log in to a wealth of information. Review it, adjust it if needed, and approve it for distribution while still maintaining the integrity of the original content.
Through all this, the original story has only been written once. There is zero duplication of labor, and minimized opportunity for reproduction errors. And, maintaining authorship means that correspondence with the knowledge holder is still possible.
This trend towards social media is not a fad. Organizations, large and small, that embrace it will have a distinct advantage holding existing consumers, and attracting new ones. Social CMS platforms enable organizations to tap into this vast social resource. Imagine the state of your organization if each individual within it became just a little famous!