We get the question a lot from all types of businesses we serve: from the most conservative law firms to the fun and brave product organizations: How do I weave social into my organization. There is not “One size fit All” answer – but the process does boil down to a few high level practices that can certainly set you on the right path:
You’ve got to raise your team’s awareness before they’ll hop on board. You had your company’s website on the agenda when you first panicked and realized your customers were depending on it – awareness of social should be no different. At every chance, you should be asking your team their thoughts, building their awareness, and letting them know it’s important to you.
They’re young and they look tech-savvy, but that doesn’t mean you should hand them the keys to your Twitter and Facebook. Doing so says that you don’t really think social marketing is that important. If you want to effect real change in the way you do business, putting the person with the least pull in your organization in charge of your social marketing effort isn’t the way to go.
Assigning your top talent to handle social marketing sends the message that you’re serious about it. Your star players have the talent to weave social media throughout your company, and because they’re the best at what they do, people in power are more likely to give them free reign. They have the product, process, or business knowledge that’s needed to engage the consumer or your customer in the most direct manner – don’t keep them behind the wall.
Consumers are always talking. How often are you listening? We aren’t talking about occasionally Googling your company to see what pops up. This kind of intermittent listening is more for fun than for real research purposes. Take advantage of this free advice. One large university we know is constantly utilizing every possible utility to see what others are saying about them – in every possible way – and it isn’t just one person doing it. The business school is watching what’s happing to them, the alumni department is listening to past alumni.
There are plenty of opportunities to identify simple steps you could use to begin your venture into social. For more information – check out Mashable’s How To post from December 2009