BEWARE of "Social Media Experts" - there is no such thing....

posted 28 Mar 2011, 04:00 by Jess Maher   [ updated 13 Apr 2011, 08:24 ]
There was a great screen shot that was going around a little while ago now, from Chrysler's twitter account... 

Oops! Someone forgot to switch between accounts before making a tweet...!

Chrysler responded relatively quickly and in a manner that could arguably even in a positive and appropriate manner. This did not of course stop them from receiving negative feedback in regards to this event or process that occurred as a result.. (see the post here) In a blog post on the companies site, the Editorial Director-Online Media, Mike Driehorst (yes they do have someone with that title), alluded to the role and what it largely entailed while commenting on someones comment to the post.

"We do not censor comments. With very exceptions, we let them fly. Just check other posts."   Mike Driehorst-Chrysler Mar 10, 2011, 3:48 PM

In the end, the large amount of debate and uproar had to do with the fact that this guy got fired after this incident. Chrysler placed blame squarely on the consultancy company whom the individual was employed through. Stating with unambiguous tones and very matter of fact like "First, Chrysler did not fire this person since this wasn't one of our employees. The agency did. It was their decision. We didn’t demand it." Well of course that comment sparked debate over the tendency of large multinational corporates to pass off blame making the role of agencies everywhere harder in this digital age... (etc etc- no disrespect intended). What was of more interest to me, was the fact that in reality, there is really no solution to the issues encountered on the part of human error, even in the "world of social media".

In fact anyone who has very been responsible for multiple twitter feeds for example has likely at one point or another... In fact, in the very comments at the bottom of the Chyrsler post, there was an ironic example provided... 


But I myself have learnt this very thing in much a similar embarrassing nature to the way Chrysler had, except mine was a spelling mistake combined with iPad correction software (which I swear has a mind of its own at times...).  




Thing is, its hard to manage that many interpersonal relationships & conversations for anyone, let alone when your job requires you to in part adopt an alternative "life" and the cross over to some degree between these two is likely to overlap in most cases. Luckily for me, who as a consultant regularly goes against the grain in terms of the norm's of this industry and consistently advise people to be responsible for their own accounts. Twitter is a personal communication channel and managing a brand as an entity as and un to itself as per our traditional conceptualizations of business is unreasonable. 

And I maintain my argument that, if you are not seeing social media forums as core to your business and as such are willing to outsource them, my recommendation is not to try. 

But they might just have something in that saying.. "those who can't do, teach"   ;) I personally can't wait till I can get back to the other side of the table...