All Articles Marketing Social Media Taking your organization through the social-media transformation

Taking your organization through the social-media transformation

3 min read

Social Media

As part of last week’s Buzz2010 in downtown Washington, D.C., SmartBrief and SocialFish hosted a panel of experts who have been working through the risks of social media at their organizations for years.

A major theme that emerged during the event was what social-media evangelists can do to usher their organizations through the transformation period. To get everyone at your organization on board, our panelists suggested:

  • Have a vision. Instead of getting mired in platforms, tactics and details, Story suggests communicating what your big-picture goal is by using the language of the higher-ups in your organization. Think of this as a reverse engineering of your social-media strategy, he says.
  • Make sure everyone internally knows about it. Harman says the single thing that’s made the most difference in securing organizational buy-in and holding management’s attention at the Red Cross is a simple daily social-media update e-mail that includes 10 to 20 quotes of what people are saying about them — both positive and negative. Harman started this practice for her own discipline — to make sure she was listening to and reading everything folks were saying each day — and now the e-mail is read daily by 400 members of management, staff and volunteers each day.
    This kind of “ambient awareness” is a way for everyone across the Red Cross to know what’s going on. (I don’t know about you, but we’re starting this practice at SmartBrief today!)
  • Renovate your top-down communications. Instead of laying down the law, offer positive guidance and encourage your employees to be out there on the social Web, saying the kids of things you hope they will say. Harman suggested messaging along the lines of, “We’d love it if you did these four things on a daily basis.”
  • Deal with naysayers up front. Levit suggested sitting down with skeptics for proactive conversations with them, emphasizing how social media can make their lives easier and asking what you can do to help get their jobs done. Sometimes it’s necessary to hold people’s hands a bit through the transformation period.
  • Host training sessions for your team. Our panelists delivered invaluable advice for educating your colleagues about social media. That will be the topic of my next Buzz2010 wrap-up post, so stay tuned.

One more breakfast is left in the Buzz2010 breakfast series. Join us on Aug. 18 when Olivier Blanchard tackles social-media measurement and return of investment. Register today!