You can try to make them eat the dog food but that doesn’t mean they have to like it

I’ve had a enough conversations with corporate communications-type people recently to be convinced that they are missing a big part of the social media idea. For some reason, many of them love the concept of social media – as long as it drives people to their sites. Trying to convince them to make their content portable and easily integrated into popular social media channels seems – for many – to be a foreign concept.

Sure, they’re cool with putting a video up onto YouTube, but for many the measure of success is still traffic. It’s almost as if they’d prefer the 10,000 visitors that are measurable to 50,000 domainless impacts. To a certain extent, I can understand their position – their performance is often being measured by the wrong metrics and as long as that’s the case they have no incentive to change.

Part of the issue is the continuing fixation with “messages.” If you can get people to a site, you are assured of spoon-feeding them exactly what you want. It may make them sick and they might go and throw it up someplace else, but at least you know they ate your dog food.

The idea of giving up control, sharing engagable information and allowing it to become a part of a natural conversation is not something businesses are used to; but it’s what needs to happen if businesses what to take advantage of social media.

[tags]social media, marketing, communications, corporate communications, site traffic, measurable, conversations [/tags]

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3 thoughts on “You can try to make them eat the dog food but that doesn’t mean they have to like it

  1. I picked up this thread on the PR Communications blog. Thanks for raising these issues.

    Your points resonate loudly with some of us who have started to move in the direction you point to. Take a look at the RCI Recruitment Solutions’ “blog-enabled” (read: dialogue-enabled) corporate website which we launched just recently.

    Here is a post that states our purpose. http://tinyurl.com/26zu5b. I would love your thoughts and feedback on what we are doing there.

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