At our social media training programs we typically interact with people who are the champions for social media in their organization. One of the greatest challenges that they have is getting their organization onboard with their social media plans.
For social media marketing to be successful it takes more than just one person at an organization – typically it involves the entire organization. Fluid social media involves sales, PR, marketing, IT, legal and customer service. Even at a small to medium sized company, many different people in the organization should be involved.
If you are the champion of social media in your organization and you are struggling to pull others with you, here are some tips for how to get your organization more involved in social media.
1. Knowledge is Power – Start with Training
Social Media Training is key to getting your organization onboard with social media and digital marketing. Whether it is executives, marketers, customer service, managers, product development or anyone else in your organization, education is a good first step.
We typically think of this as level-setting – making sure that everyone is operating off of a consistent knowledge base. From there you can begin to have more relevant discussions about how social media can benefit your organization.
2. Create Champions at the Top Levels
Getting support from the top is vital to a successful social media plan. Social media takes time and investment – the results are rarely immediate. Find people at the top to champion and support your efforts. This will make it easier to get support throughout the organization and to bring others onboard.
3. Provide Executive Training
Executives are often interested in social media, but often are not heavy users themselves. While they may not have a personal interest in social media, it is impacting their business – customers, suppliers, employees, partners and competitors are all online. While they don’t have to use social media, they do have to understand it. Create an executive socia media training program to provide them with the knowledge to effectively evaluate how it can help the organization.
4. Create a Team
Don’t try to do it alone. Create a social media team with people from different departments or functions in your organization. Find people who are both avid users and newer to social media and get a cross section. This will ultimately give you more support as these people can also champion social media in the organization (it doesn’t have to all be up to you).
5. Get Some Early Wins (even small ones)
Early wins will help people see the potential of social media. A friend of mine was working in social media for a bank. They were hesitant to use social media for customer service, and he had some convincing to do. He got permission to respond to some negative comments on Twitter, and he was able to help the people and turn their comments around. This small early win showed proof of concept for social media and helped the organization to see that it could work.
How else have you created internal support for your social media efforts?