The best tools for making corporate social media progress

Donuts.

Also: chairs, hallways, sandwiches and coffee mugs.

These are the tools you’ll need if you want your corporate communications team to start blogging, your HR group to get on Facebook and the IT guys to start sharing on twitter – or to open twitter to your employees.

You’ve heard social media is “all about relationships.” Well, it’s true. Your success hinges on who’s picking sprinkles off his shirt.

For me, it’s the folks who get in bucket trucks on cold, rainy mornings, hoist themselves up and then lay rubber-gloved hands on 24 kV-charged power lines so they can make repairs without turning off customers’ power.

These are the guys who do the real work around here. If I want to take pictures and videos of them at work, and post them publicly, and open them up to public comments (and scrutiny), the least I can do is pay them a visit during their morning briefings. I also meet with their managers, regional directors and safety supervisors.

This is where donuts come in handy too. You can’t talk with your mouth full of cake and raspberry jelly.

Because it isn’t about shmoozing your way around the rules or manipulating people into doing (much) more than they’re comfortable doing. It’s more about Steven Covey’s Habit Number 5: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

Listen first. Understand why they’re worried about posting pictures, what the security risks are, where the compliance pitfalls lie or why employee relations come into play when a company opens access to Facebook. Ask lots of questions. Acknowledge their fears and accountabilities.

Then launch into your “opportunities abound” presentation, with all the passion and fire you can muster. Just wipe the jelly off your face first.

Photo credit: SideReal via Flickr

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This entry was posted in Relationship building, Social Media. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The best tools for making corporate social media progress

  1. Pingback: Forget about gaining your audience’s trust | Corporate Commotion

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