Breaking the social silo

This is post is part of the Institutionalizing Social Media series. To see previous installments or to learn more about the series, click here.

More often than not, social media within companies both large and small is run by a designated team or Wheat storage silo in an Oregon fieldperson. Many of these teams took on the role in their companies because they were passionate and interested in the space and are very territorial over what was once a pet project.

Creating a social media program is kind of like birthing a child and watching it mature into something to be proud of. It is, however, the root of what is wrong with social media in many companies as many of these tiger teams feel that since they created it, the program should be theirs and theirs alone.

Now there is nothing wrong with pride or having ownership over something. The big problem with having a dictatorship over social media is that it creates a silo.

And you know what, silos suck. They hinder cross-functional progress and breed fiefdoms.

Social media has touch points throughout a corporate organization and there are countless groups or individuals who could utilize it to better the overall customer experience.

Problem is that this progress can’t be seen unless the bubble around social media programs is popped. Deep breaths, it is something that we can get through together.

The first step in breaking the mold is for the social team to throw pride aside. Easier said than done, but it can be done efficiently if the social team looks at its role as one of an educator.

The social media team as an educator?

Sure the notion that social media is not rocket science is fun to say, but to people entrenched in their roles, change is something that does not come easy. And to be frank, not everyone is a natural born communicator and being open and transparent is scary so the team has to also be nurturing and supportive in this phase of the process.

While this is the first in a long line of steps towards institutionalization, it is a start. By showing teams what the networks can do and how these technologies can best augment and improve their areas of expertise, these folks will be more likely to listen and share experiences that can help improve the workflow and growth of the social media efforts.

Heeding the old saying that two heads are better than one and in incorporating additional voices and experiences into the social brain trust will only help growth. Keeping a single mind, on the other hand, will do the converse as it can blind teams to only thinking one way.

This cross-pollination and sharing  can not only help remove the silo surrounding social media, but also degrading them across the organization as everyone is working in unison as opposed to sequestered teams.

 

2 Responses to Breaking the social silo
  1. Social media in action
    July 22, 2011 | 5:48 pm

    […] (discussed here) need to be set into motion to be more than just theories on getting away from the social silo and building a program that your whole organization can benefit from. Don’t worry I won’t bore […]

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