The adventures of an analog engineer and digital storyteller who studies emerging networks and their impact on the great game of business.
Jan 14, 2010

So, you’re an executive who is considering adding social media into your communications mix. Now the big question: who do you turn to for advice? Your first impulse will be to call the traditional PR and marketing folks that you’ve worked with for years. It’s a good first step, but you need to be careful. Social media and traditional media are different species, requiring very different skills for success. You must determine whether the vendor really understands the fundamental differences between the two, or has simply added social media garnish to their plateful of traditional same-old same-old.

Thankfully, a simple language test exists to determine whether or not your vendor is trying to pull an Iron-Chef move on you. It’s called The Drunk at the Party test.

The Drunk At the Party

You know who I’m talking about, right? He’s the guy who rolls into a party with an agenda. He backs unsuspecting people into a corner, then pummels them with message points. He’s the one making value propositions such as, “Hey baby, are your legs tired? Because they’ve been running through my mind all evening.”

The drunk at the party has one agenda: to spew his messages, oblivious of the social impact that he’s having on the people around him.

Now, let’s compare and contrast “Mr. Value Proposition” with the other guy at the party–ya know, the one with the crowd gathering around him willingly. Instead of backing them into a corner, the crowd has playfully backed him into one, attracted by what he has to say as opposed to being repelled by it.

When choosing your social media advisor, keep these garnish words in mind:

  • Social media is not about making propositions. It’s about helping people.
  • Social media is not about crafting impactful messages; it’s about listening and responding accordingly.
  • Social media is not about preaching to your customers, its about having faith in them.┬áTake care of your customers and they’ll take care of you.

Instead of hiring someone to examine their navel while molding the perfect social media value statement, consider using these wonderful new media tools to reach out and talk with real live customers. A conversation controlled isn’t a conversation at all. It’s a monologue.

Oh, and if your vendor only responds to 1990s phrases such as best practices, suggest these and see if he reaches for his lampshade:

  • listen more than you speak
  • deliver more than you promise
  • and give more than you take…

…or risk being the drunk at the party.

Photo Credit: WillamBrawley

Filed under: Content Development


Great information, of course it's one of the significant measures of good business promotions as well.

Muazzam M
February 5, 2010

[…] found yet another example of a corporate social media strategy left in the hands of an intern or a drunk at the party? So, I called the company to find […]

RonAmok! » C-level Social Media Ignorance
February 9, 2010

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