Responding to as many people as you can on Twitter is a lot of work. Commenting as often as you can on your blog is a lot of work. Reaching out and meeting new people and going to events that broaden your circle of potential connections takes time. Searching and using listening tools and finding conversations about you, your product, your organization, is not a walk in the park.
It’s a lot easier to mass email people a generic, link-laden newsletter. It’s much easier to place ads and hire agencies to measure the results of those ads. If you create another banner campaign, it’s a lot faster and simpler to measure.
Building a new plan for your organization that encompasses using listening tools, media creation like blogs and podcasts, social network interactions on services like Twitter and Facebook, is very difficult. Rewriting policies to include interactions outside of emailsis tricky. Determining which parts of the organization should be responsible for social media isn’t as simple as throwing a few bullets onto someone’s existing job description.
It’s easier to demand more from your agency, or push them to do the work for you. It’s safer not to mess with job descriptions. You’ll have fewer headaches if you ignore social media as part of your business communications strategy.
Please, in communicating with the people in your organization who are considering social media tools as part of their marketing or PR or support efforts, don’t intimate that it’s just as simple as throwing up a Twitter account and then ringing up the extra sales that come in from the interactions.
Be clear that it’s not rocket science, but it does take work.
Take a bow for being this far along. If you want some starting points, here’s a post I wrote entitled, “If I Started Today” that might help.