Convincing the troops

How do we convince risk-adverse staff to participate in social media?

As a business you have taken the time to have an online presence.  Your Facebook site is done, your LinkedIn page is done, you are even blogging, but now you have to convince others in the business that this is a good idea.

Like selling any product or service you sell them on the benefits of social media.  You must show them how they can engage with their customer easier.

In every business there are different personality types.  Take these needs into consideration when putting together a social media policy.  What type of media is comfortable for one person to communicate on can be totally outside someone else’s comfort zone.  Some will engage faster than others, don’t take it that the “others” are interested, often they may need more coaching.

Before launching social media in your business, brief your staff, set expectations and guidelines.  Dont make it too complicated.

  • Explain the purpose of social media. Why are we doing it as a business.
  • responsible for what you write: exercise good judgement and common sense.
  • Be authentic: always sign the post with your name, your position and your company.  Dont be afraid to express your personality and engage with your customers.
  •  Be Transparent: Everyone can read it.  Current clients, potential clients, as well as current/past/future employees.  Customise your content appropriately.
  • Exercise good judgment: “Think twice before hitting send”.   Respond to comments like you are responding face to face.  The old “write, save and walk away” comes into play.  There is a difference between opinion and inappropriate content. Give examples to your staff.  Every business is different, get the buy in from senior management on what they want to see online.  Have guidelines for your staff.
  • Give credit where it is due: if you repost or share, name the source.
  • It’s not necessary to share everything: confidential information must stay confidential.
  • Social Media = timewasting?: set some guidelines around social media engagement.  What is supposed to be done in work time etc… the right balance is essential
  • Finally Use your common sense.  If it doesn’t feel right dont’ post it.

and remember “Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t want plastered on a billboard with your face on it.”

– Erin Bury