Almost every large brand has at least considered trying to get all of their socially engaged employees using one tool for social media engagement, and it never succeeds. Here is why:
- Your most sophisticated — and most valuable — practitioners probably use multiple engagement tools throughout the day. I use one tool on my phone, another on my desktop, and sometimes I post directly into Twitter, depending on the task. Like most folks, if you try to make me use one tool for all of my engagement, I simply will not do it.
- You are not capable of supporting your early adopters at the rate that engagement tools change. They will want to continually experiment with new tools that save them time and make them more effective, and you will not be able to keep up. For example, consider the recently announced partnership between Tweriod and Buffer. How will you deal with that? You’ll constantly find yourself arguing against the natural behaviors of your early adopters, and your strongest individual performers in social media.
- No tool covers all the necessary venues. You can standardize on Buddy Media for Facebook, but what about Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.? I place this challenge last because it will slowly go away, but the above two challenges will remain.
Governance of social media should focus on delivering the right balance of empowerment with accountability. It is not necessarily about traditional IT approaches to standardization and enforcement because innovation and evolution are so very critical in this still-nascent category.
The only times I have seen a brand successfully standardize their engagement tool is when a brand deploys something like Buddy Media globally, and uses it for consistent measurement of Facebook performance, as well as a single Content Management System (CMS) for distributing Facebook content across the organization.
But that only covers Facebook.
So, maybe you try to get everyone using CoTweet, or HootSuite, or Spredfast, or whatever — but it never works.
Just try it. You’ll see.