I thought I’d start blogging about what I’m doing at work in my new role as a Program Manager for Social Media for EMC’s Education team.
The new role starts…
I was so excited when I first got this role. Then I started thinking about how to scope out my role – I’m only one person, and we could use social media to help us with EVERYTHING. Literally – it is applicable to most of the business processes we have. Right away, it made sense to limit it to keeping the home fires burning in the Proven Professional Community as I scoped out what else I could do to help my organization.
I started to get very nervous when I started going to meetings with my new team. I derailed every meeting because people are so interested in learning how we can use social media, but people really don’t know HOW we can do that at work. Right away I decided I needed to start educating people. Not just on the tools, but how people could starting thinking of using social media when they are planning business initiatives.
Seeing is Believing
So in the interest of stopping the meeting derailments, I have embarked on what we’re calling the “Seeing is Believing” world tour. I’m scheduling time to meet leaders in our organization, explaining the basics of what social media is, and what it can do for them. I am trying to run the meetings in a very consultative manner, asking people to tell me what they see as problems, what they think of social media, etc. before diving in to the good stuff. I use what they tell me to explain how they need to do the pre-work of thinking of business processes and initiatives they would like to enhance with social media, define their audience, and then Find, Follow, Listen, and Engage.
Before I go into the meeting, I also open a browser to all the social media sites we use. I usually have several tabs open with searches that are potential targets of the stakeholders who will be at the meeting.
I show them how the team has been managing the Proven Professional community has used not only our community on ECN but Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Orkut. Then I just sit back and let them take over the meeting.
For our teams who work with pre-release training, I’ve focused on listening. I’ve explained how teams can be active on social media without everyone else knowing that you are active. That helps alleviate some fears these teams have – how do you using social media when you are dealing with products that have not been released.
We’re starting our social media initiatives with communincating about our training and education programs. People feel safer about enhancing existing communication procedures, and making them feel safe enough to consider social media is important. I’ve found folks are so overwhelmed about the idea of using social media that they just completely shut down. Or, they think doing social media at work will mean they have to be very visible online, and they are unwilling to do that. (They actually say: no I’m not doing that).
When you act consultatively, and you change the way someone thinks about social media for business, that is such a huge rush! I know this stuff is going to help our team, not just for communicating but for educating as well. But people in our team have to understand how to incorporate social media into our processes, that is the only way we’ll ever be able to use it for education. So the Seeing is Believing tour will continue at least through the summer of 2010!
If I were giving advice about getting people on board with using social media, here is what I’d say:
- Don’t think that people understand what social media is, or how to use the tools. You are going to have to teach most of them.
- Write up how-tos and organizational expectations, socialize and revise as necessary
- Don’t forget people are busy. Do a little homework, ask them to tell you pain points, ask them to identify audiences.
- Remember – seeing is believing. Having a standard slide deck is important for explaining principles, but use those questions you asked about their needs, and then open a browser and SHOW them how social media could be used to close those gaps. Let them see it, they’ll become believers
- Don’t bite off more than you can chew. I am living this one every day. 🙂
- There are going to be people who are totally opposed to doing this. Ask them questions. Let them talk. They have some pain point you can help them with, you just have to figure out what that is and then speak THEIR language to help them become believers too
I have more to share – esp my wedding slide and my bar story I always tell. But that is for next time!