Crisis in social networks new ecosystem, same challenge
Our ecosystem as communicators has transformed: The Internet has taken the paper and forced us to rethink how we work and take into account the new relationship between companies, their stakeholders and the general public. Companies no longer have the same control over the messages and we can not avoid that, with the help of the Network, when someone wants to spread an opinion about our activity, whether positive or negative, it will be easier than ever.
However, despite these changes, the business of the communication consultants remains basically the same. To understand it, it is enough to compare our situation with that of the newspapers. The Internet has replaced paper, however, the main activity of the media has been to inform, generate content and disseminate it among its audiences. They have to use new platforms and they have more possibilities to take advantage of the power of the community to have the opinion of the readers and to offer a more complete and objective information. However, its main value is, as it has always been, in the capacity of its professionals to investigate, evaluate the information that arrives to them and offer a credible analysis of the reality before its audiences. If you are able to get it,
In our case, as communicators, assessing where we have to address this new reality is a complex task. For too long, the agencies have tried to understand online communication and the ‘traditional’ as two separate disciplines, creating watertight departments in the agencies that are dedicated to offering ‘digital’ services, in addition to those already offered. In my opinion it is a mistake. They are wrong because in this way they stop selling solutions to focus, instead, on the means to reach that end. Our success depends on a good strategy, however, what we sell are results, and although our tools have changed, companies continue to use our services to achieve the same goal: to develop their brand image,
In the online environment in general and, in particular, in social networks, the line that separates communication from marketing is becoming more diffuse. And so, to maintain our competitive advantage we have to be very clear what we are and what we can become. And to achieve this there is nothing better than to value what we have done in the past and how we can apply this knowledge to the new paradigm. In this sense, we are primarily consultants. We advise our clients on the best strategy to achieve their goals, and how to react to unexpected situations. And in an environment that moves as fast as the Internet, where any user can have and express an opinion, the answer has to take into account this new reality.
A good example of an area where businesses need advice is customer feedback through social media. For many marketers, the automatic reaction would be to remove comments or block their author. However, from a communication perspective this is a not only erroneous but very serious and dangerous response because of the impact this can have on the image and because, due to the diversity of available channels and means, prohibiting a commentary in a channel will not prevent similar criticisms from being multiplied in other alternative channels. In the same way that we all know that when a journalist asks us something we have to respond quickly and with agility, now we have to do the same for all users.
The Internet is a social environment and businesses have realized. The vast majority of them, if they have not already done so, are evaluating the strategies they must take to seize this opportunity to reinforce their brand. They have the tools they need to be there, and in many cases experienced marketing professionals who are able to make it happen. However, they will not need the communication agencies to advise them on the best strategy to adopt, the messages they have to transmit and how to respond to unexpected situations. It requires permanent support because in such a complex environment as the Internet, new situations arise every day that require a specific and well thought out response.
For that we are and it is our work to demonstrate the value that we are able to contribute in this area. Because at the end of the day it is a question of managing and improving the reputation of organizations, whether through the channel or not, and without a doubt, the best experts are in communication agencies.