Are you like 88% of the A/E professionals we polled who are using social media to position their firms' experts? Perhaps you should consider Sweden’s approach.
In December Sweden democratized their Twitter account by giving control of @Sweden to a new Swede each week. (You may have seen the headlines about the when Sonja Abrahamsson stirred controversy with her less-than-politically-correct tweets). This approach is now being adopted by other countries with the Netherlands as the latest to try it out.
Granted, Sweden's objective, to entice tourists to visit, doesn’t directly relate to the field of landscape, architecture and engineering professional services. But the concept of associating a personality and their particular point of view with a brand, could be a great way to showcase the many facets of expertise within your organization.
If you have willing and qualified participants (and please be honest with yourself, not everyone is capable of being a thought leader – it takes knowledge, drive and communications skills), ask yourself if you trust your subject-matter experts to operate the account in a responsible way – professional but personal and gaffe free.
In addition to building your firm’s reputation for each of its areas of specialization, this approach could be a fun way to get more employees and leaders involved in your firm’s social media program. Offer your operators solid guidelines and tips so they are communicating effectively. Help them out by scheduling the first few tweets with them, so they can get a chance to learn from you and overcome any fear of tweeting. For those who are already using social media personally, encourage them to amplify what they are doing for the firm’s account by talking about it and retweeting through their personal accounts -- maybe the firm will pick up some new followers as well.
Clearly, this idea is not for every firm, but for the right organization it could be fun. What do you think?
If you decide to try this out, please let us know so we can stay tuned!