Socially responsible businesses won’t oppress their community by exceeding a level of acceptable promotion.
We’ll put up with a little promotion, but there’s a line not to cross.
It’s as basic as someone jabbing their business card in your hand before even getting your name. Yet, there’s an increasing number of businesses with an equivalent approach in the online social realm. A significant portion of these businesses may not even realize it. This Step Zero is totally fundamental.
One of the problems is that the community doesn’t banish, or notify offenders. In a more passive way either by conscious effort or through a setting, the penalty is to become invisible. “Pay no attention…”
The additional casualty is that this passive penalizing takes extra time to be recognized or detected.
Some of this will result in “social burnout” by means of an unfulfilled social utopia (the hype). These people will be convinced that “social” is neither effective nor worth effort. They’ll be inclined to revert to a traditional approach instead of understanding their community’s perspective.
One way to be pretty sure is to ask the community (and get helpful feedback, not complacency). Because people are more comfortable giving “feedback privately” (as we’re all schooled), and “praise in public”, if you only regard your public comments, you’re getting a glazed-over view in many cases. No doubt, company size and volume is a factor. The more of a face on the business, the more people are inclined to be “polite”. Bottom-line, to get a good view of your community’s perception, get it privately as you’re more likely to get the negative edges of something you can actually improve.
Last week we tossed the idea around at the office and collectively wrote this post on Step Zero on the LunaWeb blog. We had it out in our preparation for a Lunch & Learn event I’m giving on Social for the Greater Memphis Chamber.
What’s your take on this?