I was on the phone yesterday with a prospective client who expressed concern from her board about losing control. “I know that we need to eventually start blogging and tweeting,” she said. “but our board members are concerned about losing control.” She went on to describe what I think are extremely valid concerns:
- Social media will open the flood gates to criticism about the organization.
- Social media will take away their control over the brand image.
- They won’t be able to control the resource requirements needed to do it right.
After listening to her concerns, I half-jokingly asked: “What if we showed them that they won’t lose any more control than they have now – no matter how much they dive into social media?”
“What do you mean?”, she asked.
Loss of control is a non-issue
I went on to explain that, for the most part, the issue of control has not been effected by the advent of social media.
Potential donors still have complete control over two things:
- Whether they choose to donate money to your non-profit or not.
- What they say to their friends about your non-profit.
And likewise, non-profits still have control over many things:
- The price of their products (donations and how they are spent).
- Who buys their products (channels of fundraising).
- How they treat their or donors.
- How they treat their employees.
- How much value they create in their community.
->Also see visual.
Only the volume has changed
How companies can control social media
A customer’s experience of a product is largely controlled by the company. And even in the case where a customer has a crap experience because of a “bad apple” employee or an honest mistake, the company still has complete control over making things right. In this sense, companies have a substantial ability to “control” what people say about them.
For some organizations though, it might be easier to blame social media than to admit losing control over the business.