I hope all of you readers are having nice weather – we sure are! 88 and sunny today.
As you all know I am taking a Social Media class so at least two blogs per week will be dedicated to that class. The required reading for the class is SocialCorp, by Joel Postman. It is an enjoyable, quick read but it makes my head spin a little. I cannot believe how much has passed me by while I was preoccupied with updating my facebook status.
One of the key points the book is makes that users of social media (me blogging in this case) is most well received if it is transparent. He uses the word transparency, but I hate that word. I will try not to use it. I associate the word transparency as a term that is overused by politicians and officials in an effort to convince their audience that they are transparent when they are anything but. He uses “authentic and truthful”. I like those, so I will use those. This concept seems obvious to me, does it to you as well? Of course we are going to gravitate toward truth. As you know if you have been reading my blog I have been painfully truthful. You know more about my domestic mishaps than I would likely be comfortable in sharing if we had a face to face relationship. I mean heck, I may have a hard time getting a job after I have publicly admitted to you all that I procrastinate, I drive way too fast while putting on makeup and talking on the phone and I have skipped class. Yikes.
But my blog is a personal blog – and we are examining corporate media. What is exciting to learn is that many corporations participate in some sort of media – twitter, blogs etc. That makes me feel empowered. That means I have a voice that they will listen to. If I receive poor service at Wal-Mart – I can go on their web blog and tell them about it. I would also expect to receive a response that would satisfy me. They certainly do not want me spreading a bad word about them on their website or worse, other websites, so they are motivated to appease me somehow. Now that I am learning all of these new things, I also learned that many companies have been caught being deceitful on their websites or blogs. It seems that in 2007, two individuals wrote a blog that spoke well of Wal-Mart. These two individuals packed up their RV and traveled the country to various Wal-Marts and blogged about how great it was. Later it was revealed that they were paid BY Wal-Mart to do this. Isn’t that handy. So what are the legal ramifications for this? Not a whole lot. See laws against this type of activity really haven’t been written yet – social media is just too new.
I just went to Wal-Mart this afternoon. The place was packed with people buying all sorts of summertime items – just like me. It is hard to see how Wal-Mart has hurt from their deceitful practices.
What do you think? Do you think that on the whole corporations are using blogs, and websites, twitter and facebook in a way that is honest and authentic? From my previous blog, it is obvious that many of you think the answer is no. Do any of you have an example of a company that does a great job? Postman has one that he this is awesome. It is a company I am certain you know. Can any of you guess?