#3 in a series of posts based on a social media use study by The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), the business and economics research arm of McKinsey & Company, not commissioned by any business, government, or other institution.

CMOs have a choice: to leap and grow their brands through social networking. Or not to grow.

The McKinsey study highlights risks among rewards, such as “the possibility of abuse, such as excessive employee time spent chatting about nonwork-related topics” and “breaches of consumer privacy that can stymie a brand from receiving revealing consumer insights.”

But, while internal communications and information security are relentless priorities, over-zealousness in maintaining data security can be a risky proposition of its own. If you value employee productivity and trust, you also value ways to meet customer expectations for hearing and being heard in the conversation and pitch-to-purchase sales process.

If seen as censorship or paranoia, internal and external restrictions on Internet use can build a wall, not a way, to value creation. If seen as a reliable, engaging “spend” of their time  — “delight” — social media use builds morale, productivity, trust, sales and brand value.

“Forbidding nonwork-related conversations” and “censoring critical opinions” can cut your reward off at the most crucial, sensitive areas. If your brand isn’t strong enough or the category not mature enough for “critiques and public conversation with the critics,” see it as a healthy yield sign to proceed with caution,  but also and opportunity to be a leader in your category. Look at the cultural cues and success dynamics all around you. It’s not time for shrinkage; it’s time for growing a pair.

#3 in a series of posts based on a study by The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), the business and economics research arm of McKinsey & Company, not commissioned by any business, government, or other institution.

Latest Update: Jun 05, 2016