As any community manager knows, to fulfil the potential of social media for transforming your organisation into a social business, you require help from senior managers if you want to take them through the stages of social business adoption outlined below.

Phases of social media

  • Folly – when people think social media is a waste of time
  • Fearful – when people are scared of giving people a voice
  • Flippant – neither fear nor fervour.  Build and pray approach.
  • Formulating – when value is seen and strategies attempted
  • Forging – where people integrate social media into their daily lives and it breaks out of a community manager/marketing dept responsibility
  • Fusing – the most advanced attitude, when social media philosophies are at the heart of everything we do.

So what can your senior managers do to help you get to the fusing stage?

  1. Engage their peers in mass collaboration - They should be engaging fellow directors and senior managers in mass collaboration activities.  There is a fun exercise they can try at the end of this post.
  2. Working with HR - HR can often block attempts at collaboration because it can be seen as taking away power from their domain.  You will need your director to work with them to ensure collaboration is part of everyones job role, that it becomes a KPI that they are judged against.
  3. Make community results important -If you're going to incorporate social philosophies and technologies into how you work you need to get  community results an importance alongside other more traditional metrics.
  4. Make sure IT give you the tools -Technology will play a big part in enabling your mass collaboration efforts, so your director will need to help ensure that you have the tools and platforms from IT to allow mass collaboration in your business.
  5. Ensuring finance understand what you do - Just as you need technological tools to succeed, you also need financial resources.  Your job will be to educate the CFO on the different budgeting and resource allocation needs of a collaborative business.

 

If your senior manager can do those 5 things well then you have a much better chance of becoming a social business.  As promised, here is a video of a nice game you can play to showcase how collaboration can occur organically.