Social technologies have given consumers a voice and platform to communicate with brands. It has also given brands the opportunity to better understand their customers’ needs, wants, and demographics.
If you work with social media in some way, this probably excites you. You probably think that everyone in your company should be jumping on the social bandwagon with the same enthusiasm. If you nodded your head to either of those statements, you probably have been frustrated when you’ve come to roadblocks or people who are hesitant to embrace social.
It is a big problem, right? Of course, but it is your problem, not theirs.
Before you shake your head in disgust, take a second to think. Change is hard and people will be unlikely to blindly follow you into the social abyss without knowing what’s in it for them. They won’t want to waste their time on silly fads and they won’t want to devote resources to something that doesn’t directly benefit their department. And why should they? If you want people to adopt social, you need to show them how it can improve their business.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. Marketers’ have spent their careers creating ads that drive consumers to purchase with little or no customer input. Imagine being in their shoes and hearing, “hey you need to make your ads more human and engaging,” without hearing the why or the what’s-in-it-for-me, you might just get aggravated and ignore the messenger. Instead, if your marketing team has seen a decrease in sales via email messages, offer a social sharing option for emails which could help the team and the businesses bottom line. Now that’s motivation to change.
On the other hand communications pros meticulously craft corporate messaging. Getting the brand message out there correctly is what they are paid to do. Now think about how it would feel if you were told, hey your messaging is too stiff and needs to be more conversational.
You would feel pretty bad or pissed off and not want to work with the person. Chances are you have been THAT guy at least once within the walls of your company.
So how can you change this?
Change is hard, so approach other teams with ways that you can work together. This is going to be hard work, but worth it in the long-run.
At the end of the day it is going to take time. Change is hard, would you rather be someone who facilitates change or someone who pushes coworkers away?
Image - Loren Javier