Using Barriers to Entry in Corporate Social Media

Sometimes creating  barriers to entry can be a good thing.

In web lingo, if you’re adding too many steps, or asking a user to click more than twice to get to their desired content, you’re making “the barrier to entry” too high. The resulting action is a loss of visitors, or a high bounce rate.

However when it comes to developing and implementing corporate social media strategy, the idea of creating barriers to entry  becomes more appealing.

I wrote last week about how CMOs are becoming more familiar with social media’s applications and uses in their businesses. As a result they’re bringing their expectations back down to earth. But they’re also spending more on it than ever before.

The enthusiasm for social media isn’t confined to the C-Suite. Department heads from across these companies are clamoring for their own Facebook page, Twitter feed or blog. They believe that they have something to add to the discussion and should have a presence.

This is when barriers to entry come into play.

When you’re developing the corporate strategy, write a document that anyone wishing to launch a social channel must fill out before moving forward. The document should ask basic questions about the purpose of the page, and will ultimately lay bare the long-term viability of the social media community or blog.

The goal should be to avoid launching pages that can’t be maintained properly, or lack a clear vision or purpose. It’s a losing strategy that puts the organization at risk of becoming entrenched in trying implement a community management structure retroactively, instead of having created provisions prior to launch.