Saturday, March 1, 2014

Social Media Knowledge The Missing Link for Decision Makers

Social media channels provide an opportunity to convey thought leadership and show an authentic inside into a company. Doing this well requires a continuous commitment to dialogue supported by engaging content.

In formulating the strategy consideration is given to providing rationale which is supported by process. Such as:

1) A business case outlining resourcing requirements
2) New competencies needed 
3) Communications tone and content generation process
4) Measurement and continuous improvement agreement

OK that's all logical. Here's the thing. Usually the decision makers and influencers are aware of the 'hype' around social media however are not active users. They can feel alienated by, naive about and even afraid of how social media works. Why? Because we fear what we don't know and understand.

While a lot of senior execs have FOMO is this area, the risks seem large and it's not good business acumen to apply a YOLO attitude (LOL...couldn't help myself).

A lot of companies spend time educating employees about social media policies and the consequences of online behaviours. This heightens the perception that it is dangerous territory as 'bad examples' are cited widely....great ones rarely when it comes to professional online branding.

Training and educating senior leaders about social media channels is a worthwhile investment of time and resource. It is often over looked and most definitely appreciated as the generation gap for knowledge in this area grows wider. 

I would argue it should be a critical step in any social media strategy development process. Contemporary  communications require up-skilling in this area for employee and external audience engagement. 1:1 sessions are the most effective, supported by larger group training sessions.

It is the missing link in effective corporate social media communications. Senior involvement lifts the conversation from tactical to strategic. Providing the business structure to support effective implementation.

While some may have the view that social channel communication is for a younger generation to manage, the reality is that 'thought leadership' comes from seasoned professionals. There is a significant difference between utilising the channels for promotional purposes and long term corporate positioning.

Knowledge is the missing link. Who really wants to say in a group of peers that they have no idea or are just plain afraid.

So make social media education a priority to drive informed decision making, build thought leadership communications, and lift the conversation from tactical engagement to strategic positioning. 

Knowledge is power or better still knowledge is empowerment!

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