The Catch 22 of Corporate Social Media Engagement

Social Media is all about people. For businesses looking to engage in Social Media this represents a bit of a conundrum. On the upside it means the people in your organization working your Social Media strategy are more directly connecting with existing and potential customers. Forming more engaging bonds.

As I read a great post from Beth Harte today regarding a local Domino’s Pizza franchise owner, this conundrum struck me. The franchise owner understands and leverages Social Media tools very well to build relationships. This is good and his sales growth reflects his efforts.
Two things present an issue here 1) Dunbars Rule and 2) long-term sustainability and continuity of engagement. In Dunbars rule, the basic concept is that you can only effectively maintain about 150 relationships. It’s just what our brains can handle. To a degree we can extend this using the right tools. But that only goes so far.
The second issue is more concerning over the longer term. What happens when the employees engaging in your Social Media efforts quit and move on? Or get hit by a bus? We’ve seen what happens to corporations with maverick CEO’s coming and going (i.e. Lee Iacocca and Chrysler, which he left in shambles in sustainability terms) and lack of long-term shareholder value. It doesn’t do much for the shareholders.
So a significant challenge over the longer term for businesses, organizations and governments engaging in Social Media will be the right tools to connect with larger audiences, continuity of their people engaging in Social Media and sustainable practices.
I don’t have all the answers. I don’t think we can yet, it’s so early in the game. But perhaps we can start thinking of some? It’s a Catch 22 in some ways isn’t it?

Brightening Up The HRM And Canada

April 21