does your brand need to be OPEN to fully embrace social media?

Everything that comes out of leading interactive agency Resource Interactive is based on the OPEN Framework, developed by their internal thought leaders Kelly Mooney and Dr. Nita Rollins.

OPEN stands for On-demand, Personal, Engaging and Networked. Resourcians eat, breathe and dream about OPENness, and I believe it’s evidenced in their work:

  1. People’s Choice Awards Case Study
  2. VS Pink Case Study

Disclosure: these two projects are near and dear to my heart, I did development work on pcavote.com and some business analysis work on vspink.com.

Although Resource bills itself as an ‘interactive’ agency, (not a ‘social media’ one), it was during my time there that I really started to recognize the importance of social media for businesses.

Social media is about communication and collaboration. It’s about listening, supporting, energizing, informing and embracing. It’s about giving up control and facilitating the dissemination of (often synthesized) information. If someone asked me what open branding was, I could easily use the same words. I don’t know how to talk about social media without talking about open brands, and open brands are fertile ground for social media initiatives.

The difference is that at Resource, we built communities rather than simply tapping into existing networks. The developers at RI were truly outstanding, and we had the luxury of being able to build these engaging experiences. So often, people associate social media with youtube and facebook, ignoring that social media isn’t about the tools, it’s about the engagement between people. Open branding is about discovering people’s passions, and giving them the platform to express those passions.

An organization can create a facebook application or set up a twitter account, but just using these tools doesn’t mean they will reap the benefits social media can offer. It’s not about the tools! It’s about changing how you communicate with your clients, and how they communicate among themselves. It’s about recognizing and appreciating the value of the masses, and being mutually supportive: offering value and then getting something in return.

That’s OPEN. And social. And good business 🙂

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