I had a meeting yesterday that crystallized for me the fear some people still harbor over using social media– “the comments can be poisonous,” “we have no control over where the message goes,” “we do not have the capacity to monitor and respond to comments,” and “what will we do when advertisements of women in bikinis appear?”
Now, I should note that there are high school students involved in the constituency that would view this page (thus the concern about scantily clad ladies) and the issue– the possibility of school consolidation– is a contentious one bound to bring out lots of emotional commentary.
But, these conversations and comments, poisonous or not, are going to happen anyway. On the playground, over coffee, at dinner parties and play dates, and on Facebook where most students and parents already have accounts. The decision is not whether or not to allow community discourse– it’s whether to participate in it, or to put your fingers in your ears and pretend it doesn’t exist. At the very least, wouldn’t it be good to have a pulse on community sentiment?
It’s not that I think these concerns are unfounded, it’s that they’re outdated. There is no controlling the message anymore. And while it’s scary to jump into the current of social media not knowing where it will take you, it’s also the single most effective way to inform, engage and communicate with a community of people around an issue– and to get an understanding of their fears, hopes and concerns. Half the time, people just want to be heard…and they will be, whether or not you’re listening.test Filed under client stories, social media | Tags: facebook, social media | Comment (0)