An interesting post from my client at Alterian – Ian Truscott – on the power of being yourself or as a company, letting employees play their part and make up the social face to the company as a whole.
As I commented on the original post, I think “be nice” is a good mantra for the way we behave online and also for life in general but I like my colleague Ged Carroll‘s additional one “be useful”. Being useful is where all the different “yous” come in – I am assuming you are meaning the “faces” to the company can come from anywhere within the organisation here?
…and they should…..technical people need to be there, customer services, marketing, comms, senior management….
I like the thesis number 84. from the Cluetrain Manifesto as it sums it up perfectly:
“We know some people from your company. They’re pretty cool online. Do you have any more like that you’re hiding? Can they come out and play?”
As people realise the biggest benefit to being online – listening to your customers and being part of their community – is learning intensely valuable info about where you business should be going and what you should be doing better, this will become a no brainer.
Right now there are a huge number of companies that still don’t get it.
I think everything is being leveled by the big bulldozer that is the web (and social media, though those are of course pretty much the same thing now).
The problem is, once all the props are removed and the playing field becomes level and global, some companies and their people are revealed as being naturally more interesting/appealing and others, well, aren’t. Some will try and buy the affection/attention of people in the short term as they compete on a higher/global scale . . . but that’s not very genuine or long lasting.
In the end it all comes down to how good your thing is. And a big part of any ‘thing’ is the people that make it happen.
So, in answer to your title . . . it might not be 😉