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Why Your Colleagues/Employees/Boss Don’t Think Your Social Strategy is Brilliant

by Jenny Sussin  |  June 25, 2012  |  1 Comment

This is a follow-on/part 2 of my previous post titled: When I first heard about Twitter, I thought…

The reason I’d asked people to comment on that last post by filling in the blank was that I want them (and the other lurkers) to recognize why their colleagues/employees/boss don’t think their social strategy is brilliant.

Here were some people’s initial responses to Twitter: “What a random load of crap!” “Who really needs to know that I am having a coffee?” “Why would I want my SMS to be public?” “Why would anyone need something like this?” I think one of the most interesting responses was “I posted some stat about how x% of people tweeted once and never did it again…and then didn’t post again for 8 months.”

From my experience both personally/professionally and in speaking with clients, many of us get a similar reaction when we’re trying to explain our concept for a corporate social strategy to our colleagues/employees/boss. The “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” However to them we say something like “ignorance isn’t bliss,” or “our competitors are doing it.” Those arguments unfortunately don’t stand up in “court” and at the end f the day you look like this guy/gal:

Each of these initial perceptions correlates to a common misconception people have about business use of social software (both internally and externally facing, across every which use case in every industry in every region —> it’s that scale.) So let’s start with our first one:

“What a random load of crap!” AND “Who really needs to know that I am having a coffee?”

First recognize what is actually being said. What they’re really saying is: “where is the value in having masses of people deliver constant updates?” So answer the actual question. Don’t pretend some of the updates won’t be personal, they will. So where is the value? How do I extract it?

“Why would I want my SMS to be public?”

The question here is centered around two misconceptions. 1: Every conversation I used to have via email, text or phone will now be posted to a social network. 2. Social software doesn’t have privacy settings. Do yourself a favor and correct these. On the first one, explain when each channel is to be used. Put a little work into considering when which channel would be used — think about the employees who will have to be executing on this.

“Why would I need something like this?”

You don’t need my help figuring out how to broach this one, but this is something I want you to understand. If this was the perception of people who are regular tweeters now then imagine speaking to them three years ago and THAT is who you are dealing with. Get to work.

“I posted some stat about how x% of people tweeted once and never did it again…and then didn’t post again for 8 months.”

You as the social media manager should be providing stats so that people don’t think that it is their job to be the reporter. Tell them what you want them to do on the network. Hopefully you don’t have a company full of reporters and have some doers.

So I obviously left some questions to be asked as it is the business I am in, but I’d love to have the commenting section open for peer debate. Gartner clients, feel free to reach out through Inquiries and set something up if you’d like to discuss this one further.




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Category: customer-service  marketing  orientation  social-crm  social-media  

Tags: business  learning  marketing  media  shiny-objects  social  social-crm  social-media  socialcrm  software  twitter  

Jenny Sussin
Managing VP
7 years with Gartner
8 years IT industry

Jenny Sussin is a Managing Vice President for CX and Sales Research. Read Full Bio

Thoughts on Why Your Colleagues/Employees/Boss Don’t Think Your Social Strategy is Brilliant

  1. Simon Smith says:

    Good post Jenny. We’ve all heard responses from colleagues and friends along these lines. Frankly I’m not surprised either if the best we can do when we quickly describe our enterprise social strategy as “tweet about new products and which exhibitions we’re attending”, or “make a company Facebook page, and point everyone back to our website”, or “make a viral video about our company”.

    I’m listening for our “social ideas” and critically screen them for things like i) what is their purpose? ii) if we explained the enterprise purpose to the external people that we’d like to participate would they buy-in to it too? iii) what’s in it for external participants? iv) can we see it being mass-collaboration or collaboration with a community of interest?

    Occasionally I think “yes, this could work if we tweak it like this …..” but mostly I think “hmmm …….. what a random load of cr@p”.

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