Web 2.0 has prompted interaction amongst Internet users generating content as well as corporate entities utilising marketing strategies, reaching unprecedented levels.
In a blog post by Andrew Baxter for Ogilvy, ‘Why it pays to join the social club’ The Bank of Melbourne, KFC (Australia) and Officeworks, are used as examples of corporate entities, who are utilising Web 2.0 mediums to increase relationships with their publics and in turn, proven to increase their profitability.
With this extraordinary communication tool however, comes lack of content control, highlighting especially corporations and their communication teams including their Public Relation Practitioners.
It only takes a quick scan of both Officeworks and The Bank Of Melbourne’s Facebook pages to recognise discontent between corporation and its publics. This display of discontent is occurring in a highly transparent and public manner, much like airing dirty laundry in public.
This is because a broad spectrum of people of all demographics have access and the ability to interact with a corporation via their social media page and while people accustomed to (for want of a better word) ‘trolling’, will understand that negative comments are not always a true representation of a company- many, less media savvy, would hold that as gospel.
Even when corporations illustrate a well-operated social media platform, which ensures empathy, transparency and importantly competency with resolving a matter, there is still obvious fragmentation.
A lack of guidelines, or code of conduct for social media interaction concerning corporations and its publics is apparent. Corporation should inject funding into these strategies before a Web 2.0 social media platform is developed.
I would argue a higher body to ensure it has taken place should moderate it. The Airforce has instigated this by its Airforce Web Posting Response Assessment, which is a step by step process to interact with its publics, under the scrutiny of web users.
A social media platform is essential for corporations to remain accessible and current, however a neglected social media platform is catastrophic. So, while Andrew Baxter believes ultimately it pays to be part of the social club, with a poorly run social media platform,would the monetary gain just be a trade off?