Chris Applegate posts a list of 20 familiar signs that a company really doesn't want to get engaged in social media. It's brilliantly funny, if not also a tad depressing (but then isn't all the best humour) as it's instantly familiar to anyway working in a social media sphere who's had any of the 20 conversations. Suw Charman-Anderson follows up with an internal version. Both are spot on. And while the web geeks amongst us giggle, they should also be compulsive reading for anybody or company thinking of getting into social media.
I've come across all these comments over God knows how many years in all walks of life. I've spoken to a few people who are so enthusiastic about social media but work for companies who take about six months to take any kind of decision on it. I'm quite thankful mine's pretty proactive and willing to try new things.
Social media isn't like other popular areas where you can just wade in go "hey, we're great" and leave. What worked before offline won't necessarily work online.
The best thing anybody can do if they want their company or client to get into social media is read and listen. Engagement also helps, but I'd honestly say just immersing yourself in blogs, wikis, pods, Twitter and forums and getting a feel for how they work will do no end of good.
If a blogger has a pop at your company, chill. Maybe it's better to understand the reason behind the rant than panicking or getting worked up about the contents of the post. People say bad things, it happens.
Viral videos are called viral for a reason. If it's something you'd want to send your mates at a slow day at work, then you're onto a winner. If you struggle to watch it through, it won't.
And while mass emailing bloggers may seem like a quick and efficient way to work, it probably won't generate that much positive coverage. Certainly not compared to if you've taken the time to read, engage and see what's relevant to this particular blog.
It's not hard to do, but I suspect these won't be the last conversations Chris and others have on this topic.
[I'd also quite like to add 21. Client puts something on the internet with no links in or out and wonders why nobody visits.]