No one really likes making mistakes. We all make mistakes and most people learn from their mistakes. The value of social media is you can learn from other people’s mistakes. You can also simply copy current practices and make the same mistakes others are making.
In the old days mistakes could be fairly contained to a few people unless of course your mistake hit the headline news. Today mistakes, whether personal and corporate, are transparent for the world to see. Social technology can not only propagate mistakes to a large audience quickly it can also create unintended consequences.
What Are Unintended Consequences?
Lets say that you are a major branded retailer worried about reaching year end results. Management wants to move inventory during the holidays and the edict is “all hands on deck, if we can’t reach these numbers then layoffs are inevitable”. So the communications to the work force is embedded with the emotion of fear and everyone feels it.
The people on the front line are usually the first to go when there are expense cuts. Yet they have no control over the marketing, the message, the economy or the methods management uses to create results. The CMO, who isclueless about social media tells his people to “push out the sales using email campaigns, twitter and all those other social media sites”. His people, whom have had little training on use of social media, begin a campaign of spamming, tricks and mass marketing using every social tool they can find. They tell their boss “we’ve pushed out our sales to millions of people and will continue to throughout the next month”. The CMO smiles and tells his boss “our people have tapped into this social media stuff and pushed out our sales to millions. This will help us reach our needed results“.
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