Do you think you can see through a company’s marketing and get an accurate perspective of the culture? If you do some research in LinkedIn and find some people employed by a particular company, do you see consistency of message or do you see disparity of messages and sentiment? My good friend and colleague, Todd Lohenry of The Elevation Company, and I have been discussing this topic in our last couple of Google Hangouts.
According to David Amerland in his great book, Google Semantic Search, trust is the critical component to a relationship initiated or perpetuated in an online environment. His excellent book breaks down the elements of search and social technologies that contribute to achieving a high level of trust in your area of business and expertise.
The sum of our activities in social and content marketing build or destroy trust. If your business has employees who are active in social platforms they may be adding or detracting from the trust level as well. This is why I believe culture will trump marketing every time. If a business has a poor culture there is no way this will not leak out from the various social and marketing platforms used by the business and its people. Healthy culture delivers healthy, effective social marketing.
The greatest social and content marketing strategy in the world will never trump a lousy culture. Some companies have adopted stringent social media policies in an effort to control leakage from its people and attempt to police these policies with monitoring. It is just as ridiculous as it sounds.
There is more to social marketing to choosing your tools and developing a strategy. Social marketing is transparent and requires a holistic approach to organisational health. Social marketing will not work as a band aid to a poor organisational culture. Culture trumps marketing every time.