Ivory Towers - the 'bastions' of knowledge within an organization. Every organization has their share of 'armchair social media experts.' They feel that they know it better than anyone because they use social media personally, they have read a few articles, & consider themselves marketing experts.
The challenge with most of these experts is that their involvement either brings social media initiatives to a crawl, raises the complexity of what needs to be done, astronomically hikes the cost of social media initiatives, or simply make the competition look divine. The focus becomes internal and initiatives fail.
Here are some things that Ivory Towers promote but are the worst things you can do for your brand -
1 - Create billboards, & print collateral advertising your social media presence. A big bank, inspired by the Got Milk commercials, created a simple billboard - 'http://www.blogger.com/www.BankXYZ.com
' - no call to action, nothing. Just the banks web site. They thought fans would rush in while stuck in traffic.
2 - Creating interactive games on your web site & blog to show how 'cool' your organization really is. Remember, the Ivory Tower does not think about consumer engagement, instead they think about ways to make your brand look 'kewl.'
3 - Not willing to join conversations - they want to lead conversations and start conversations, but it is beneath them to monitor these conversations to answer consumer questions. We can all learn a lot from SouthWest Airlines & their Twitter initiative.
4 - Focus on quantity of fans & followers, versus quality of each connection. Ivory Towers just want to grow the list!
5 - Having the approach of 'build it, & they (fans) will come.' Amazingly, emails, & other collateral is created demanding that the brand be followed on the social channels - no real reason why?
Ivory Towers have a hard time valuing conversations with fans. It is beneath them to listen. There is no value exchange for the fan.
If you really want to create a good network you need to give your fans a reason to join, and humbly join conversations. Social Media is about engagement and creating a buzz through that engagement - not the other way around.