There is a massively argumentative and substantially humorous conversation circling the steel and glass of corporate culture.

1. When should we jump into social media? Loaded question.

2. Should the CEO have a blog? Should upper management have a blog? Maybe even the peons? Yes. Yes. Yes.

3. Should the blog be Internal or External or BOTH!? This is all dependent on your strategy.

4. How do we combine a work tool with a social tool? Check out Social Media Tool’s for Work and Learning and also Best Buy’s Blue Shirt Nation.

5. Should Sharepoint be used as a social media tool? HELL NO. Do you have a paper towel? I just threw up on myself. Okay.. maybe I am over-reacting. You get to it Microsoft! Don’t take my word for it… read this from ReadWriteWeb.

6. How do we manage and protect proprietary information on social media platforms? You can’t. Unless you control the social media platform (refer to question 4). It is extremely important to start building out policies that relate to the use of social media for internal communication (as well as external)

There are, of course, hundreds of questions that follow the simple ones listed above. The biggest problem corporate America has with social media is not necessarily managing and building of the platform… it is the beginning. How do we get in and utilize social media? What is the best way to enter the information flow? Should it be a corporate strategy or a marketing strategy?

Douglas Karr does a great job at answering this question:

I advise that social media and blogging are not a marketing strategy, they’re a corporate strategy. It’s not simply putting yourself out on the market to jump on the latest band wagon and consumers will flock to you. Social media takes time, a strategy and the right resources (both tools and people).

As one of the leading GENIUSES behind Corporate Social Media, Douglas knows what he is talking about. Both Douglas and I have written extensively about being authentic when writing a blog or getting involved in a social media community.

Also from Doug: You must involve all the leaders in your company – those who own the strategy of the corporation.

Strategy and Marketing should go hand-in-hand when debating whether to enter the social media world. This message is not only catered to corporations it should also be the focus for small businesses. Do not throw yourself into social media (whether blogging or networking) if you do not have a sound strategy. Without a social media plan/goals your productivity will plummet! You will be inundated with thousands of pieces of information and overwhelmed (as will your employees)

Strategy. Content. Participation. Authenticity.

Social media can be a fragile world, an extremely narrow path, proceed with care.

Most of all, HAVE FUN! This isn’t a corporate board meeting with Fiji water bottles. This is the information highway BABY! Take your time, hit it hard, and reap the benefits of open-communication!

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