Harvard Business School is not an institution that you would imagine letting its standards 'slip' when posting online. After all, it has a formidable reputation, which makes it one of the most prestigious business schools in the world.
So how HBS uses Social Media is critical to maintaining its image and reputation. It's the same for any brand - 'reputation is everything'. So it's not surprising that brands often struggle to go off-piste with their Social Media posts. 'Safety first' are the watch-words in many industries (particularly those in the regulated space) with pre-agreed, bland and occasionally sterile content seeping out at carefully scheduled intervals.
That's fine and has its place in a Social Media strategy. But I'm keen to add that a brand's Social Media content should not just fall within the remit of Sales and Marketing - in fact the communication of high value content should now be seen as part of your overall business proposition.
But how refreshing to see Robert Bochnak at HBS putting a toe in the water with more personalised posts - posts which have focus on specific individuals.
He reports modest success with these posts, and I have no doubt that it's an approach which he'll persist with over time in his work managing HBS' Social Media.
Social Media is a great tool for brands, but there is a good old-fashioned concept which says that "People buy people". They always did and always will.
Brands should take a leaf out of Robert's book and wherever possible seek to personalise their Social Media activity and engage with people at a human level.
Standards won't slip - they'll more than likely improve in the eyes of their followers.
The catalyst for this new social media strategy was a recent vacation my family and I took to Italy. The trip was an opportunity for the family--my wife, kids, and my sister-in-laws--to celebrate the fortieth wedding anniversary of my in-laws. During our week in Italy, we visited Florence, Venice, Pisa, and Rome and, all told, snapped at least 400 photos; I probably took 75 myself, posting a number of them to my personal Facebook page and Twitter feed.