The war on social media

Marketing

Oh God.

I was worried this might happen.

According to Jerry Bowles writing over at Social Media Today there is a war on social media.

Just look at the restrictions put upon employees at ESPN, the NFL and the US Marines.

Is the end of freedom really coming because organisations are uncomfortable about all these conversations?

Bowles says:

… social media will become one more tool in the marketing /pr / communications toolbox. An important tool, but basically one more channel to be “managed.” Official Twitterers will be designated and scripted.

There will be no Scobles starting unapproved blogs under the radar. A lot of the spontaneity and diversity will disappear.

The unfortunate thing is that the humanised content generated by brands on sites such as Facebook and Twitter are a big part of the appeal. But as Bowles writes, many organisations just aren’t ready for all that transparency.

But many folks are missing the point – all this chatter has been happening online for ages.

The difference now is that there are a number of popular websites where a lot of that chatter is sort of aggregated.

I’ve never understood this reluctance to be open and honest. Why do big brands feel the need to micro-manage everything they say? That’s a rhetorical question readers.

Paranoia is the culprit.

Micro-controlling messages only becomes essential when there’s bad news to manage. The fact is nothing is really what it appears to be. And brands can manage messages all they like but the truth will out – the salacious British tabloids are a case in point.

Celebrities far and wide try to control what we read about them but the gutter press (I use that term with affection) usually leak the gossip before an official statement is released.

So while some companies may gag their employees, word will always get around. That’s the beauty of the social web peoples.