There's a great line at the end of The Lost Boys where the Grandpa (who the audience thought was clueless the whole movie) says, "One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach...all the damn vampires." And you realize Grandpa has been the wisest person in the room all along.
While everyone else was freaking out about vampires, Grandpa had just accepted them as a fact of life, adapted to them and protected himself from being in danger.
I sometimes think about Grandpa when I'm in meetings about social media.
Not because social media is full of damn vampires (although it very well might be) but because it's full of damn humans--and in a way they're just as tricky.
Social media is made up of socializing humans (and companies represented by humans.) And humans are diverse, unpredictable and messy. So that means social media is diverse, unpredictable and messy, too.
All of that diversity, unpredictability and messiness is terrifying for most companies.
(That's with good reason. Seems like every day we read about a brand's big social media #fail, or a social firestorm that scorched some company's reputation like a stack of dry kindling.)
Companies should be afraid of social media. But that fear shouldn't dictate all their actions.
When it comes to social media, companies need to find a middle ground, like Grandpa, where they can work with their fear while still meeting their business objectives.
And that can be more of an art than a science.
I've proposed a session for this year's SXSW called, "Dismantling the Social Media F-Bomb" to talk about how to manage this delicate process, (since it's a topic I'm passionate about and one that keeps my clients up at night.)
If you have a moment and would like to vote for this session to be selected for inclusion at this year's event, I would appreciate it. (Sorry, you will need to register first.)
To vote, visit the SXSW site before 11:59 PM CST on Friday, September 6.
I’m a consultant, strategist, author, educator, and speaker with more than 30 years of professional experience. I’m passionately curious, fairly sassy, kinda dorky and seriously good at what I do.