As part of our brand update and the rebrand of the BrocklebankPenn website, we decided to add a Social Stream element which would bring this blog together with other items we wanted to share via our social media channels.
As a key part of the new site was the addition of team profiles, which allow everyone in the company to share some of their interests and personality, it made sense to open the stream more broadly than our Twitter account had previously been.
This is a similar process to that which many companies go through, in deciding how to generate content for their social media activity without it having to fall wholly on one person. Except for relatively large companies, most businesses don’t have team members whose only job is to ‘be social’, so it tends to be bolted on to someone else’s role. And in a lot of cases that means it gets little focus, or more often, little time.
Giving broader access is one way of helping keep a steady stream of content flowing, but the relatively short history of corporate social media use is littered with horror stories about how it goes wrong – from Vodafone’s intern posting the homophobic Tweet ‘by accident’ to Gap’s suggestion that people stuck inside because of Hurricane Sandy should indulge in online shopping. It’s because of that kind of thing that businesses use agencies (yes, including us) to manage their social, or restrict access to only key team members.
We decided to go a different way – our whole team is pretty switched on and there’s a lot of sharing ‘stuff we think is interesting’ internally all the time. So now, that same community of sharers, with its diverse interests and varying voices, all has access to Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram accounts so they can use the apps they prefer to share links, news, video, images and anything else they think is interesting and fits our profile.
It’s not a way that every company could imagine managing its social presence, and it’s not one I’d recommend very broadly, but one of the advantages it gives us is that our own social stream is able to surprise us as much as it will hopefully surprise our followers. Visit it here.