Not enough experimentation is bad, but too much can be worse!
I think its obvious by now that the quantity and importance of user-generated media is growing. But it is relatively early days into its evolutionand its new ways of communicating, so many PR & marketers are struggling to keep up.
As a consequence, quite a few are trying different methods of engaging with their audience and in some cases, different parts of large companies are going ahead with separate individual activities. Decentralised activity also happens as a consequence of a lack of a Social Media Strategy or Community Manager... but then very few companies have those yet. Indeed a bad one (or a good one badly implemented) may be worse than doing nothing.
Now experimentation is not a bad thing.... as in general is does increase learning (sometimes learning by making mistakes). However, too much experimentation does risk losing focus on the most valuable opportunities.
So how do you avoid this?
Best practice in this area is scarce, but just from canvassing some very insightful people over the last few days, the most logical approach seems to be:
- Obtain senior stakholder buy-in
- Know your own company & brand values and key messages & marketing activities
- Understand the benefit your want from the activity... and potentially map these to customer profiles (scenarios?)
- Communicate your activity internally, your own staff are one of your best assets (and are probably having these conversations anyway)
- Tread firmly, tread carefully.... but definately make that first step