Today I was required to go to a ‘career luncheon’, I tweeted that the attendees of a brothel brunch would have more self respect. The visitors were from PayLess shoes, who have been doing well. So I’m in a room with these PayLess representatives and about thirty peers. The experience couldn’t have been more painful. These kids spent almost the entire hour (a full sixty minutes, I was literally on the verge of tears) asking about their fucking resumes. The genius girl in the room dropped the ‘social media’ bomb (and used the words ‘integrate’ and ‘implement’!) and by the reactions in the room you’d think she had cured cancer. This sent the PayLess rep on a very long speech about making a Facebook page. A later answer triggered what I think might be the answer to why so many companies fail in their social media campaigns.

The PayLess rep had spent an amazing amount of time talking about how great the company culture is. “I just have so much fun!” “All the senior executives are so accessible!” “We are going to go on a ropes course!” Then, when talking about how he hired people, he told us all about how he didn’t hire someone because they were drinking in a picture. Then the other rep, a young woman, chimed in, “Yeah, it’s a really comfortable situation at work and I’m friends with everyone on my team. I just have to be very careful about what people see. Like, I went to a friend’s bachelorette party the other day and I had a blast but I can’t just put those pictures up. Like [and this chicita  said ‘like’ A LOT], I saw a co-workers Facebook partying and I just thought it was wrong. Like, we’re co-workers… I want to keep things professional.” REALLY!? If your job requires that you be sober and celibate (not saying putting nudez online is a good idea…) and that’s not who you are, you’re selling your soul. If keeping things professional means that you can’t enjoy yourself or actually make friends within the workplace, you’re done.

Tony Hsieh has built Zappos on the culture of real people . The only way social media can work for a company is if it feels real, not like a censored Facebook page.

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