An increasing number of companies are trying to make as many employees as possible use social media. Reasons are varied from employer branding to using the voice of employees to promote the brand, at all levels of the business. The result of employees being forced onto social media by marketing always has the same result and short term inflated social media analytic’s. The best tactic I have ever heard is incentivising employees to use social media to increase followers/likes/shares, a weak short term solution that always fails, they should want to do it not be bribed. Think about it when does any form of bribery ever work.
Look for those already using social media and support them, others will follow if they want.
So we see more and more businesses congratulating themselves because they have x employees on twitter, proudly announcing that a top exec created his account the previous week etc. Pretty nice for the people in question who get their minute of fame and recognition. But if its not managed or nurtured, or they do not take it seriously, it will fizzle out and all your efforts from both parties will have been a unfortunate waste of time.
“My boss is on Twitter!”. Should I be? Not necessarily…
What I find questionable is that the presence of lots of employees and, most of all, execs on social media often looks like an end in itself but that is only the very beginning. Businesses want numbers, profiles and they care more about what it means in terms of image than what it means to the people using that channel / target community and beyond.
It’s like going on a fad diet and seeing those short term gains!
When internal awareness campaigns have been conducted in a business, it’s interesting to see how things look like 6 months or one year after. Empty profiles, deserted or awkwardly used accounts. Not sure it helps either the business or its employees. Results are always better when targeted awareness campaigns have been conducted.
A targeted campaign doesn’t mean getting everyone on twitter, but “here’s how those who want to use twitter to make an impact, can”. The impact Twitter can have on their career, on the company’s image, on their own performance. If you only get 2% of employees buy in and they do things well you’ll definitely achieve real long-term results.
The talented artist is valued, not the use of his brush.
If we assume that using twitter is not essential for everybody (but awareness is), it’s a personal choice depending on one’s nature, personality and over-valuing those who do use it may have negative side effects.
The first challenge you will face is not demotivating those that do not use social media or do not feel ready. The second challenge is some people feel obliged to go on social just to appear to play the game and do it under false pretense, which does not help anyone, because not everybody is comfortable using social and it becomes apparent very quickly.
What deserves recognition is not the use of social media but what’s done with social media.
When social is used like any other business to business tool e.g. to find a customer, share a message in a targeted and efficient way, detect a business opportunity to start a conversation; success stories deserve to be recognised.
Tools are just a means to an end. Look beyond the tools, create meaningful relationships to reach your goal.
Recently a friend in sales told me: “with such an approach I must say “great” to those who detect deals through social media and “meh” to those who do the same in a more conventional way? I count deals. end of!. I’m asked to bring out the successes achieved through social media…I find it more logical to bring out successes, whatever the channel”.
Artists are admired because of their production, not because they use a chisel or a paintbrush.