Many CEOs are reluctant to listen to the siren song of the social media gurus.
They are told: Your company needs to open up, to become authentic, to become transparent, and to abandon traditional marketing for some ill-defined conversation. But then they see how activists can turn Facebook into a weapon against Nestle, and they wonder: Could that have been us?
Of course they are reluctant. What is the ROI for taking on that added level of risk?
Peter Sandman tells his risk communication clients that it is often better to be responsive than responsible. Along those lines, many CEOs may prefer to respond to social media rather than to engage them.
CEOs should at least consider an alternate strategy. Call it "Listen & Respond":
- Monitor the social media systematically for any outrage that flares up on blogs, microblogs, comments, social networks, etc.
- Respond swiftly to any outrage at its source before it bursts into flames and spreads online.