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March 11, 2011



You offer terrific advice here, thank you. It is so important to have a person stand behind what's being said.

A question, though. For companies concerned about the succession of their social media presence or overly investing in a person's social presence rather than the brand's presence, what would you suggest? In Kodak's case, if Jenny becomes the social media manager for Sony or Canon tomorrow, how should succession be handled? What should companies be concerned about, and where should they let go?

Holly Buchanan

Great question Christopher.

This came up when George G Smith and Crocs parted ways. Women LOVED George. He was such a great guy. It was definitely a blow when he and Crocs parted ways. (I don't know the full story of who left who, but Crocs did change their strategy after he was no longer with the company). After he left, the customer engagment with Crocs did drop. I don't know if it's built up to previous numbers or not.

It is a HUGE plus to a company when their customers create a personal bond with the person who is officially communicating for the brand on social media.

The risk is, as you point out, what if that person leaves?

Kodak has several different people as official spokespeople on social media. That's one option.

Another is to have a brand character doing the social media. If there are clear "voice" guidelines, anyone could do it.

In the end, it's a crapshoot. Make it the "brand" with no real person behind it. that's the easy way. OR have a real person and have the reward of more personal engagment but the risk of losing that person.

One piece of advice I would give companies is - either way- understand the importance of having the right person in that position and compensate them appropriately - don't farm it out to an hourly employee.

Wayne Tarken

Very good article. I think it's critical to have someone be the face of the compnay in social media. Comcast has done a great job with this. We've found http://www.ceowomensclub.com/categories/Women-as-CEOs-Ten-Tips-Virtual it's important to have a strong cultural "mantra" that is disseminated throughout the organization. Helps for a consistent message. The speed and volume of information is increasing so depending on just one person will not work. It only takes one person to kill it for the rest of the company


Terrific additional insight, thanks again. So one risk is if a person leaves. A bigger risk is if a person gets poached by a competitor. Does the social following follow?

Still, deeper relationships are worth the effort and likely the additional risk. And, as you say, if a company has multiple people carrying the flag, the loss of one voice doesn't have to be an absolute disruption.

I'll keep reading, and learning, and asking more...

Holly Buchanan

Another positive of having a real person is, like in the case of Jenny at Kodak, you feature their face in their profile picture.

The Buying Brain by Dr. A.K. Pradeep points to research that one of the reasons social media sites like Twitter are effective is that they have profile pictures, and the human brain loves to focus on faces.

Think about it - when you read a tweet with a human face, do you feel differently than if you read a tweet with a more generic profile picture like a logo or graphic?


Nice article, thanks for sharing. The marketing department definitely needs to be synched with the social media person, so a consistent quality message is pushed out.


I hope you had a good birthday yetserday and have an even more wonderful birthday adventure tonight. If I lived there I would totally crash your boat party.Big men are good. I like big men. I don't just say I feel secure around big men because I actually do and it's true. Short men make me uneasy. The whole Napoleon Complex and all..Hum...that is all I suppose.


Jack, gentlemen and shlacor, I wanted to wish you a happy birthday and much love on the one day a year you can do anything the fuck you want because its your day. Thats right mate go nucking futz! peace in the middle east and all that good shit..T-motha fuckin nutz


I've worked in male-dominated enrnmonveits most of my life and I can tell lots of stories, too. My favorite ones are the ones where I got even with people who treated me unfairly because of my sex/appearance/occupation/etc (**important note these were not all men older women also targeted me). I learned this at the age of 7 when the big boys repeatedly shoved me into the jagger bushes (aka thorny bushes) and other bullying tactics. I got no sympathy at home for crying and was told to go back out there and outsmart them. I learned to compete and outsmart them then and I still do it now. Yes, it's unfair, like all kinds of discrimination. If it isn't getting you what you want, pick up your marbles and start your own game. Go Christina I love your blog!Kat.

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