I think some marketing professionals are really scared of the leap into social media and the concept of social business. I know I used to be.
A recent Harvard Business Review showed that 50% of the 250 organisations taking the “Social Readiness Assessment” still had a negative attitute to social media.
But why and what are the implications to your IT business?
Firstly, why are they scared?
There are many people in the boardrooms today who have been brought up to see company communications go through rigorous sign-off procedures. I once worked on a project to revamp an IT company’s brochure that went through 26 iterations and still never got approved!
Approval for marketing literature was , and still can be, a laborious process; and most marketers have faced a senior colleague who has changed a word because they don’t like it, only to change it back again ten versions later.
Second and perhaps more importantly, what are the implications to your IT business?
So it is no wonder that some of these people, who like to read, re-read, re-think, re-word, re-read and re-word again, would find it hard to even send their first tweet. I will be honest. I found it hard. It takes a different mindset and practice. Social networking and the like must allow for a less formal approach that needs less approval from those managing communication policies. Yet you must be aware and implement what you are trained to understand – that every word you type must correctly communicate the tone and the strength of message to an audience that you may never have seen before.
You have a few choices regarding the outcome of your social media strategy.
1) You have no social presence. This is not really an option for the business wanting to trade beyond 2012. Even if you don’t participate yourself, it doesn’t mean that those around you and engaged won’t have an impact on your brand in the social media sphere.
2) You adopt the same sign off systems meaning that your tortoise ways move into social media as well. This is also not a realistic option. Technology has intensified people’s need fast response times. If a client telephoned you, would you wait a week to call them back? The same rules apply for social business. You prospects and clients will expect a timely response.
3) You confidently join the world of social media. And here is where we can help. Whether you are just starting out or need a hand to review your social media, get in touch.
We will help you to take the plunge and get reap the benefits of social media. What is the alternative? People never hear your views. People never understand your opinions. You don’t build a brand for yourself online. These are not really options for the marketing professional of the future, or for the IT company of the future.
How can we assist you? We ensure any social networking activities roll up into your business plans and operations so that it figures as a core part of your commercial operations. Social media can either be a personal distraction or a professional asset that features heavily in the overall customer and employee experience. We can help you to align your social media plans with your sales, marketing and communications plans.
If you want to get in touch then tweet me! @susiegmay
Further reading on this topic from the Cowshed: