For me those questions aren't as dead-simple as they sound. In the contrary, they provide some deep thinking about the culture, philosophy and vision of the corporation, the brand, the people.
These questions have to be answered from the very top, because they touch everything the corporation believes in, for good or bad. Because they will bring a paradigm shift if answered positive.
Are you willing to act?
"… when an organization makes an investment in social media it is a
constructive opportunity to consider not only what could go wrong, but why
it could go wrong. In other words, what are the valid criticisms that
customers and employees might have and what you are willing to do about
it. If you aren’t willing to consider the former and have no power
concerning the latter, social media might not be your best bet."
Are you prepared to change?
"So it might not be the best idea to “join the conversation” if you just
want to make your quarterly numbers. Don’t create a Facebook Fan Page
if your product is a letdown. Don’t use Twitter if your intern will be
running the campaign. Above all, don’t engage in social media if you
aren’t prepared to change in the bargain."
Everybody asked would immediately say 'Yes. And Yes.', but this would be lip service. If you did not act on customer complaints till today, why should you even consider such a ridiculous idea now, or? Just because the advent of Social Media? Come on!
You understand Social Media as the no-cost alternative to advertising, why shouldn't an intern run the 'campaign', if it is a campaign after all.
And advertising hides the product's flaws, or? You made your share with a generic, even bad product after all, or, by outspending the competition! Why not outsmart them with some Social Media tricks now, or?
Sorry old Rules do not apply any longer
I fear, you will have to think twice. Social Media – or Social Networking, as I prefer to call it – isn't old wine in new skins. Social Networking is not a short cut to success.
Social Networking is labor- and brain-intensive. It is a 365/24/7 job, not a campaign or burst as you know it. It is no advertising monologue, it is an authentic dialog.
Social Networking celebrates human's new independence, individuality and impatience. It impacts your image, product, brand personality directly.
And: You cannot not Social Network! It happens – if you are a part of it or not. If you take care or not.
You will not succeed with just lip servicing in your board, the press, the advertising. Social Networking is not just your next campaign! If you are not ready to Change for good, you are not ready for Social Networking!
So, please think twice and please think about the consequences. Done correctly Social Networking will be your road to success.