The question of “who owns social media” is asked of me several times a week and each time I laugh at the contradiction of the question. No one can OWN something that is social; the act of being social requires more than one person to be involved (in fact the more people the better) so why are we so obsessed with putting a label of ownership on social media?
This may get those with social media in their title a bit off guard but if we pick apart the organisations that ‘get’ social media and garner the greatest results we can see words such as hybrid, enablement and collaboration being used rather than ownership. Any social media pro worth their salt will more than likely embrace sharing the skill set with their workmates. Organisations that take social media out of living in the marcoms area find many benefits; an obvious one is sales people understanding the needs of their customers better by listening to what they have to say about their products and competing products on social media. And better still these sales people (given the right training) have the ability to reach out and connect with these customers in a way they have never had before. That’s probably the biggest gain – engagement from many to many, not one to many. After all, that’s what social media is, right?
We can also see the operations and customer service teams understanding, in real time, feedback on their product or services. Tweaking events to suit the desires of the customers in REAL time, fixing an outage sooner or seeing trends in product issues based on customer feedback. The list goes on.
So how can get your organisation to be social about social media? Here are some good places to start:
Educate – What gets in the way of progress? FEAR. Fear of not knowing and even more so admitting you don’t know. Don’t give your colleagues, particularly your executive team a reason to say no to social media. Equip them with the skills to use it correctly. One of my clients holds monthly ‘lunch box’ sessions where anyone in the business can learn about the basics of how to set up a LinkedIn profile or how to use Facebook privacy settings. These sessions are different every month and continues to keep social topical within the organisation.
Lead by example – “Practice what you preach.” Be active both personally and professionally so that people naturally identify you as the social media person.
Contextualise – How does this make them better at what they do within the business? The last thing someone wants to do is do your job for you. Make sure you communicate what benefits THEY will achieve by getting involved. If they are a sales person, for example, they will find more clients. If they are in the Executive Team – it will position their brand/your profile in new channels/audiences.
Report wins and learn from mistakes – Be transparent about the stats. Highlight the big wins so that people know it is working.
Make it visual – Have monitors set up around your office with key social media stats such as the increase of followers on your twitter account or the amount of positive conversations happening about your brand vs. your competitors. Use your intranet as a hub for your organisation to view all the conversations being had about your brand.
I could go on and on but you get the idea, there is only upside. Whatever you do, involve your teams, share the knowledge and take your engagement to the next level!
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