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My company is just jumping into the social arena with a new Facebook page, Twitter account and hopefully soon, a blog. As I’ve been watching it unfold and participating in the process when I can, I have noticed how easy it is for one person’s voice to become the voice of the organization. It is an issue that all businesses must face when they enter Web 2.0. If only one person twitters or if only one person writes the copy on the Facebook page then how is the company’s voice being portrayed?

I know people from my company read this blog and so with a small shout out to them I bring up some points you may want to consider as your company enters the social media realm:

1. Think about the reasoning behind each social media outreach. Why do you use Twitter? Are you trying to be an expert in your field? Improving customer relations? Making business contacts? For KGBTexas, I believe the original purpose was to show our clients that we knew what Twitter was about. Okay, now that we’ve become mini-experts, what is the point? Why have a business account when your employees could (and already do) have their own? 

2. Keep that goal in mind throughout the lifecycle of the process. It is easy to get caught up in social media. You can easily spend hours every day connecting with new people, reading the words of experts and commenting on their thoughts. However, you came into this realm with a purpose in mind. Always ask yourself if what you are doing is to reach that purpose. If your goal is to obtain new clients, then use your Twitter account to do that. Be in circles with the types of businesses you serve. 

3. Convey personalities correctly. A main benefit and excitement of social media is that it allows everyone to display their distinct personalities. However when you start social media for your business you have to decide how those personalities will be conveyed. If the business has a Twitter account then the business’ point of view should be conveyed — not the person running the account. If you create a blog you get a few more options. Maybe you only have one author and that author represents the business’ voice. Or you let multiple employees write and each have their personality showcased. Do this with individual author pages where each employee writes his / her own bio. The same with a Facebook page. Let each person have a photo and write his / her own bio. If you’re going to let the individuals be shown let them fully embrace their personalities, their likes and dislikes and their beliefs. 

Obviously the more employees you bring in the more time you are taking away from their work. However, that is what social media is about. Your business isn’t about the work of just one person, so your social media efforts shouldn’t be too.

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I will be the first to admit that Facebook isn’t high on my priority list. I can distinctly remember everyone back in college jumping on board the social media outlet and me just hanging back. 

I am now a Facebook member– feel free to come friend me (search Melanie Thompson, San Antonio) — but as I begin using the outlet I have become quite confused about the number of people whose pages are blocked from the general public. 

To me, social media is about being out there, welcoming conversations — see a related blog by Chris Brogan today. By blocking yourself from the outside I feel that you are doing a disservice to the whole purpose of Web 2.0. It is hard — nay impossible — to carry on a conversation with someone you can’t reach. And by forbidding me to interact with you without becoming your friend, how am I supposed to get true insight into your personality? Or is that in fact the best point of view to your personality.

I look at my Facebook page as another window to the community. Another avenue to spread my point of view, meet new business contacts and expand as a PR professional. To help me do this I have left my Facebook open to the public. 

If your page is blocked, please let me know why. As a Facebook beginner I am interested to hear how this impacts the number of friends you get, the conversations you have, etc. And do you look at your Facebook page as a personal outlet, a business outlet or both?

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Well, now we can see the real value of social media.

Guy starts Facebook group about Texas beating OU in early October.

Facebook group now as more than 18,000 members.

Mentions of group on Austin American Statesman Web site (possibly in print).

Signs with 45-35 score on them were plastered across Memorial Stadium at Thursday’s Texas/Texas A&M game. Many of the signs were printed in The Daily Texan, the University of Texas’ student-run newspaper.

Guy who started Facebook group was interviewed live on ESPN talking about the group.

So, what started on Facebook also garnered print, Internet and TV advertising. I didn’t get a chance to listen to radio for the game, but I’m sure it was mentioned there as well. Gotta love the power of social media.

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