Suddenly social media for business is mainstream news. And we've reached a tipping point.
Not before time. Yes, in the last three years there have been a lot of conversations that run like this:
BlueChip: We believe (insert proof points here!) social media is critical to how you communicate, and in particular to your PR now. There a some things you may want to con side doing, selectively, now.
Company x: Interesting. But not relevant to our business yet. We just don't see how it's going to deliver for our brand or stakeholders.
BlueChip: Well it's similar to PR - there's both opportunity and risk. And initially it will be hard to measure, similarly to PR. That said, you may not know what people are saying about you right now online. As a first step we suggest social media monitoring and managing online risk - develop a social media policy to cover employees and protect your online identity. We also suggest...
Company x: Hmm. How about we do the bit about protecting our identity? But let's not bother with anything else. We have other priorities.
The conversations now are becoming different. Here's an insight:
BlueChip: We believe (insert proof points here!) social media is critical to how you communicate, and in particular to your PR now
Company x: Interesting. I'm not sure how it's relevant to our business yet. But it probably doesn't matter because the people we want to influence are using social media hourly, daily or perhaps just weekly, often without even realizing it. What we don't know is how to speak to our target market using social media the right way - the right messages in the right channels. We also need to build experience in this because it's going to matter more in the future. What should we be thinking about?
BlueChip: Perhaps start with a social media audit then implement social media monitoring and take action to manage your online reputation risk. Once you have that background we can start to think about engaging - whether broadcast via established channels or whether you need a more niche approach....
As I watched the Lateline (time shifted thanks to a hard drive) segment about social media tonight it occurred to me they'd missed the exact thing that made social media really newsworthy today - as opposed to yesterday or tomorrow.
And that's simply that the Reserve Bank of Australia has joined twitter.
I had to laugh because there are plenty of non-believers in social media among the financial services community in Australia. We know financial services lags, say global beverage brands, in adopting something many communication and marketing people believe is now just common sense.
But there are also evangelists and early adopters of social media. Even in financial services.
And today their early mover decision was backed by no less a twitter sitter (the RBA will starting posting from tomorrow) than our Central Bank. At the time of this post @RBAInfo has 1077 followers up from 364 when I followed them late this afternoon.
As my colleague Aideen said today as she sent around this Australian (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/markets/reserve-bank-joins-the-twitter-generation/story-e6frg926-1226030788224) article "Financial services and social media may finally go together in one sentence".