A post on CBS Interactive’s Bnet (link) articulated an important business lesson about social media from the recent attention on political rhetoric. The media’s had their fun and pundits on both sides of US politics have done their finger-pointing. In particular, we can’t help but bring up Sarah Palin. Well, everyone likes a rebel and she’s known for her straight-shootin’ comments. Doncha know? Ok back to the real lesson here.
Politics aside, you simply have no control over what’s posted online whether it’s on a social media site or your own website. The article details how the SarahPAC site pulled down their now infamous map, but it lived on in Sarah’s Facebook page. The staff also tried to scrub comments taking out anything that was questionable, but they missed one big negative.
When you post something online, EVERYONE in the world has access to it. Once it’s in the wild, it’s out there. I personally know that the map lived on in Google images search in a number of places. And then there are sites like the Wayback Machine that archive websites.
Point is, the use of social media and new media has to be done with care. I totally agree with the article which points out that social media in particular needs a strategy. The web is called the web because there are a multitude of connections all talking to each other. Your graphic travels those connections. You have no control.
This counts for small business too. It’s great to take advantage of new media, but it has to be done with a plan and a goal. The web has no sense of time. What you said years ago still lives in the present. Think about that. The context will change, but your posting won’t. Will it still be relevant, will it be taken the wrong way? It’s ok to be on the band wagon, just be sure to have a destination planned.