Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Social Media - Why? III


Is this something I should be doing?

There are still executives, owners, boards that struggle with social as a business driver, part of this culture of skepticism I believe is because the ‘medium’ is still relatively new and participating in it requires a subtly different approach from the ‘traditional’ marketing efforts people may be accustomed to.

To win the skeptics over you need a ‘C-suite’ plan. A good first step is to identify those who influence senior management, this is different than trying to influence the C-suite directly. Using this strategy you’re looking for those inside and outside your organisation who the C-suite may use as a source of ideas or guidance, these may even include younger family members who are into technology and who can convince manager to try out new tools.

Another sure fire way to get their attention is to highlight what your competitors are doing well. ‘C-suiters’ are quickly influenced by tales regarding peer organisations. If you can get their time and point out what the competition is doing well in this area you’ll get their attention pretty damn quickly.

You could always go maverick – AKA the stealth approach.  I have to put up a health warning on this approach though and if it backfires on ya please don’t come a knocking with litigation! Following this approach involves you sharing content on sm sites without first having got authorisation from the ‘C-Suite’. If successful you can watch your engagement climb and then have a case prepared on how social media has already begun adding overall value to the organisation.

However an approach that has you in the position of guide and not guerilla is to my mind a place we should encourage all of our people to own.  To make the mindset shift from doing things ‘guerrilla’ to becoming the internal guide and thought provoker is how we’re ultimately going to get social media moved from the edges of the C-Suites thinking to make it front of mind.

Finally be prepared for a long haul. As with any organisational change it can be one of the most difficult things you and in turn your organisation can embark on. You’ll need both courage and tenacity.