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I Trust Social Media to Find a Good Restaurant; Why Don't I Trust It To Guide Policy Decisions?

Malcom De Leo talks about the social media cultural conundrum and argues that it is culture that prevents companies from fully embracing social media.The same cultural biases also exist in government agencies.

To me, this is the secret recipe to social media success: "You need great tools working in a great process with a corporate culture that is ready to say yes to a new way of doing things."

Agree? Disagree? What's your secret recipe?

Tags: social media, social media cultural conundrum

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Well, I tried that restaurant and was disappointed.  Paid trolls had spammed major online review sites to the point that write-ups by decent food critics had been pushed so far down I never found them.  It was also time consuming to search each of the gazzillion social media sites, each claiming to have the largest and best commentary, only to find that most of them had only a few comments that seemed to be dated, biased or both.  After several overpriced bad meals in grungy greasy spoons with bad service; I returned to the closely moderated on-line versions of restaurant reviews I had previously ffound in print media.  Quality of meals improved exponentially.

@Peter: But many of my FaceBook friends recommended this new pho place and it was delicious. I made so many visits there that I have become "mayor." ;-)


Believe it is directly related to the FEAR of Loss of Control... Although I am relatively certain that there is a certain amount of FEAR of change.  

Among the public policy ideas currently generated by social media --

I've heard crazier ideas from the vetted, mainstream media. :-)

I actually like the idea but I understand the Brits will not take him back.

Hey Bill - It depends on how you are trying to use it. Are you (a) connecting colleagues in government or (b) linking citizens to government information and services?

If (a): it needs to be part of workflow. I have a question. I need to go to a place where I know I can get accurate, valuable answers in a relatively quick period of time. So you need people who both see the value in asking and answering their peers. It also needs to allow for people to ask non-professional questions (i.e. where's the best place to grab a quick lunch around here? What's the best take out joint? etc.).

If (b): This, too, needs to be in people's flow. Posting in the middle of the day when folks are at work might not work so well. Sharing content after hours (even if scheduled) might hit people when they're active. As you probably know, OPM recently had folks available around the clock for the PMF program - ready to answers questions quickly on email and social media. It was a great case study in how social media can be used effectively in light of customer behavior / needs.

@Andy: Good points which I actually haven't considered when I posted the article. What I found interesting about the article was the author's argument that people seem to trust social media more when using it for personal purposes then when using it for business/professional reasons. I would like to see more quantitative evidence that such a gap exists but I do agree that culture plays a role in how an organization uses social media in engaging with their audience.

Good example on OPM's use of social media for the PMF program. :-)


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