Social media is on the minds of every marketer in corporate america today. Whether good or bad, they are certainly at least thinking about it. In fact, according to a new study just released by Social Media Examiner, 91% of marketers are using social media in some capacity. After social media makes it’s way through the marketing department, then what? What happens to the rest of the company?
From that same research marketers are reporting exposure, leads, better customer service, reduced costs and more as benefits of being engaged. The only problem is that exposure is the only benefit that stays in marketing. The other listed benefits affect many departments across the organization. So what’s happening with that adoption? While marketers were forced by their consumers into social engagement, other departments may not be feeling the pressure…yet.
How do you socially infuse your company? It’s the same discussion that has been around for a couple of years at least, however it feels a bit more real right now. There has to be more to it than getting your company’s name on twitter or setting up the “Facebook page” as a catch all. There has to be more than an executive decree to become “social” and there has to be something more substantive than 3 front-line employees in a dark corner somewhere taking some social initiative. Maybe it’s all three or a smaller combination of them. John Bell from Ogilvy PR spoke to Lucas Watson from P&G recently and had some solid insight. Lucas, Global Team Leader for Digital Business Strategy at P&G, had three key points when he was asked how he gets his teams to embrace social for the first time:
1. Get them out of the office. Take them somewhere provocative like to a startup’s office or to the Googleplex or somewhere where they can feel and see the excitement of doing things differently. Don’t try and convince them in a conference room at P&G behind a Powerpoint slide
2. Get a digital champion on the brand. Every team needs an enthusiast who will push and keep challenging the usual way. We constantly shift between making digital everyone’s job and embedding it via true experts. Truth is both are necessary and the balance will change over time as more people make digital a part fo their jobs.
3. Show them the ROI to inform marketing modeling. P&G is know for their marketing modeling. This simply confirms what each of us not inside the company would guess and that is that you have to have a ‘pretty good’ story of both the performance and ROI to convince hard core marketers like those at an FMCG (fast moving consumer goods).
I personally agree with these points with a minor exception on point two. Instead of making it “everyone’s job” or leaning on the expert (which exonerates everyone else) make it a department requirement and let each department come up with their own way to handle it. Depending on the department, they will self-organize, take turns, hire someone, etc. Social cannot be forced on people just like not everyone should have to Karaoke at the bar just because it’s there. Some people enjoy it and some are genuinely good at it. It should be up to the department lead to figure out how best to manage it within their own environments.
These three points are a good start, but what else can companies to encourage social innovation within their companies? Ask any salesperson and they will tell you that compensation dictates behavior, I just don’t think that applies to social though (and I’m a sales dude). Socially infusing your company will take initiative from four equal directions IMHO:
- bottom up
- top down
- outside in
- inside out
To help us put some more meat on that bone, we have asked social magnate Trey Pennington to moderate this week’s chat. Trey comes with an impressive background of teaching, implementing and consulting for some great brands and focuses much of his time on using technology to make meaningful relationships with real people. For companies, it requires a new mindset—a huge cultural shift. It’s filled with huge opportunities. These opportunities are available to everyone but not everyone is ready. Spend some time with us on Tuesday 4/20 at noon EST to make sure you build your checklist of things you can do to get your company ready to go social. The questions will be asked every 20 minutes starting at 12 noon then hold on to your seats as this topic will certainly be fast paced:
Title: Culture Shift: Is your company ready to go Social?
Q1: Employees or Management: Who drives the social culture of a company?
Q2: What comes first, executive investment or employee initiative?
Q3: Create a checklist that companies can use to become more social.
To participate, follow along on Twitter or you favorite Twitter client (www.tweetchat.com is mine) using #sm56 or simply goto our live page at www.hashtagsocialmedia.com/live.