Responsible Participation in Social Media
Charlie Schick over on the Nokia Conversations blog discusses a topic that comes up often as companies try to wrestle with the new world order created by blogs, wikis, Twitter, Facebook, and the lot: how to promote your brand in these mediums without harming the brand in the process. There’s a fine line there for sure. Too much and you’re a spammer. Too little and it’s ineffective.
To be perfectly clear, I also work at Nokia, and I am proud to work there. It’s certainly not in my job description to promote Nokia–after all, I’m a techie, not a marketing/PR guy–but I feel it’s every employee’s responsibility to promote their employer in an appropriate manner.
I certainly promote Nokia’s products and services I use and believe in. I will raise points about our products and services that might have been missed in the discussions. I’m usually clear about where I work, though it’s not like I hide who I am, either. Five minutes on Google will clear things up if there’s any doubt.
While I may be helping to build the Nokia brand in some small way, I am also building my own brand as well. If all I do is say how wondeful Nokia’s products are, then my own brand is tarnished and my words will carry less weight in the social networks, ultimately damaging Nokia’s brand as well. This means I’m not going to go out of my way to post good comments about Nokia everywhere, nor am I going to post as anyone but myself. I’m also not going to ignore the fact the Nokia N96 has some software quality issues and that Nokia Maps is a FAIL experience for me.
At the end of the day, the conversation about Nokia–and just about every other company out there–is going on right now. If you’re going to participate in the conversation, you can’t attempt to dominate it. Each participant–vendor or otherwise–must be on equal footing. Put the facts out there, but be honest about who you are and what your stake is in it all. It’s the responsile thing to do.