April 16, 2010
As the new Marketing Communications Specialist at Roundedcube, one of my roles is to launch the company full fledged into the land of Social Media. Engage in online conversations that are happening in our industry. Translation: learn the unique attributes of our company and our industry and get right to work!
I like to think I am well versed in Social Media. I tweet, network on Facebook and LinkedIn, use Yelp as I immerse myself into my new city of St. Louis (I recently moved here from New England. And don’t worry, I wasn’t a Patriots fan.), post photos and videos on multimedia sites for my friends and family to see, blog about my adventures, and so forth. But all those things I do online, I do about me. You see, I know myself pretty darn well and am able converse about my life and what I choose to do fairly intelligently.
Now I just need to apply those skills to market Roundedcube. Wonderful! I am genuinely thrilled about this new opportunity. But some funny things tend to happen during the discovery period of a new job. Think about it for a minute. Starting a new job is exhilarating and fresh: you are trying to absorb as much information as possible and you want to make an immediate contribution but then you realize you made a right turn when you should have made a left turn and now you are so lost that you feel like the town idiot (I actually did and felt the same thing during my move from New England to St. Louis).
Many companies have their own language. Don’t believe me? Think back to the first day of your current job … were your fellow co-workers using acronyms you couldn’t quite figure out? I needed to learn my new work language and needed to learn it quickly. I raised my hand on my second (and third) days and asked for clarification on acronyms that were being used throughout staff meetings. Ah, yes, those make sense now (some were industry specific but most were our clients names condensed for easier reference). Is there a secret handshake I should know about too? Because I really want to be part of the team.
After some extensive research about how Roundedcube’s web strategy, design and development is in fact different from other end-to-end agencies, I was ready to dive right in to my new role. But hang on a second. Where should I start? Should I Tweet about the beautiful Cardinal I saw outside from the office window? Or should I keep my tweets to strict business matters only? Todd Defren, of SHIFT Communications, touches on this very conundrum with his article “The ‘Problem’ with Authencity: You’re Still Being Watched.”
I decided to go the first route. I’ve seen (and follow) some people and organizations who choose the latter; they only tweet about business related or industry information. And that is their decision. There is no right or wrong philosophy here. No one is forcing me to follow them, I choose to do so because I think the information they provide is valuable. Personally, I want to be as open and honest as possible in my tweets so I will tweet about the bird and the ping pong tournament in the office . Isn’t that first line in the Social Media Oath? And by the way, I think there needs to be a standard Social Media Oath that goes a little something like this:
- Honesty is always the best policy.
- Spam is absolutely unacceptable.
- Be yourself. Don’t use language that you don’t usually use. If you’re a walking thesaurus and use $1 words all the time, then continue to do so. However, if you use $0.25 words, then continue to do that too.
- Be respectful. Everyone has an opinion. And there will be disagreements. Be tactful and remain poised.
- Respond promptly.
- Always cite your resources and references.
- Add value to the discussion.
Two weeks in and I am immersing myself not only in the Cuber life, but into the St. Louis marketing and social media community as well. I attended the Social Media Club of St. Louis’ First Anniversary celebration at Mosaic last night and am very excited for Social Fresh St. Louis on Monday.
I am diving head first into the pool. And in case you are curious, I don’t need floaties … yet.
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