Spreading the social seed

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

Generating company-wide buy-in for your social media program is an important early step in institutionalizing social media.  It may not be easy or natural for the initial SM team to gain support at the institutional level – Bee 014you’ll likely face hurdles, setbacks and hard questions while you educate your coworkers and deconstruct the space to a level that someone with no knowledge of Twitter can understand.

This task may sound daunting or challenging, but it is important to keep in mind that selling social across an organization is vital to moving forward. The covert teams and siloed departments that monopolize their company’s social media simply because they planted their flag first in the social land grab are going the way of the dinosaur.

To avoid the fate of the stegosaurus, current social shepherds of the company need to step back from their day-to-day duties and determine how folks in separate areas of the company view social media. Reach out to people across the organization to gauge their interest and level of understanding. You’ll probably find that some people already had a come to Jesus moment at a conference and feel the need to get on Twitter three weeks ago, while others may still be skeptical or have questions about the space.

As you meet with management and your coworkers to discuss social media, educate them about the space and demonstrate how social is being done now. Share key milestones with them. Be ready to answer the following questions:

  • How is social being measured?
  • Where are opportunities to grow?
  • How are we making money?

If you can’t answer these questions, you should reevaluate what you are doing

After the conclusions of these meetings, take time to review the minutes. After review, it should be easy to see which parties are assets and who will be road blocks.

Once that is set, keep regular contact with those who are keen on the social space. Show them ways that it can make their day-to-day tasks easier, and how it will help them gain better knowledge and insight into the customers who are touched by their area of the business.

The process will take time, but will build camaraderie and a sense of teamwork and pride in accomplishing a major goal for the company – an effective social media program. It will also put the program in a better light across the company as more people get involved in these new technologies.  The new advocates will also help convert the naysayers within the organization.

Tune back next week for the next installment of Institutionalizing Social Media, if you want to get it sent to your email, please click here.

Image – Davide Simonetti

 

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