Getting social media efforts approved inside a company is easier today than it ever has been. Even two years ago you had a lot harder time getting upper management to give it any consideration. Fortunately, even the holdouts have begun to come around.
There are, however, four persistent personality types that still can prove detrimental to your organization’s social media work. They’re either standing in the way of progress or at the very least making it difficult to push ahead like you want. I’m calling attention to these kinds of people so you can identify them and begin to work with them (and around them if necessary) to accomplish all that you need to with you social media efforts:
1. Mr. Fearful: Whether he’s afraid of what people will say, won’t say, might say, or could say, the root of Mr. Fearful’s unwillingness to move forward is a fear of the unknown. He doesn’t know social media and is therefore scared of it. For him, social media is still too new, too open, too conversational, too accessible, and simply too different from the way he’s always done things. Perhaps telling him how your competition is succeeding with social media may swing him in your direction.
2. Miss Trust: Miss Trust is one of the more lethal social media hindrances. She doesn’t trust her employees to be good representatives for the organizations and she certainly doesn’t trust her customers. She wants control but control always draws things in. Control doesn’t release. Trust requires release and social media requires trust. Miss Trust won’t release and is killing your social media efforts.
3. Mr. Unwilling: Mr. Unwilling doesn’t want to hear what his customers have to say. Like the ostrich who buries his head in the sand, it’s easier to keep doing things like they have always been done than it is to ask the customer about his/her experience. Mr. Unwilling says things like, “They may something bad about us.” Be sure to point out to Mr. Unwilling that "they" probably are already saying bad things about you, and he just doesn’t know it. Point out to him that if they’re saying bad things about the company or products, you can respond and maybe (just maybe) learn, change, or apologize if needed.
4. Miss Salesalot: Mrs. Salesalot thinks social media is just like her billboards and radio spots. To her, social media is just another sales channel that people are talking about today. What she doesn’t realize is that social media requires a different perspective. Sure, there are great sales opportunities with social media, but you can totally blow those chances with the wrong thinking. I
The opposite of the four personality types above are trust, faith, a willingness to listen, and endurance to earn the very attention you plan to cash in on down the road. Every company that’s doing social media will have to decide one personality approach or another. If you’re trying to implement social media within an organization with a lot of personalities as described above, I recommend you start small: share good data, give good case studies, and show some of the small ways you’re already implementing social media well.