This list of warning signs your organization’s culture isn’t ready for social media isn’t comprehensive, and I’m not offering a model today for organizing these issues or a prescription for solving them. But based on challenges we’re seeing in developing and implementing social media strategy (let alone getting social media to take hold), seeing any of these warning signs (or “red flags” as we call them) in your organization, indicates you’re in for a struggle to make real, meaningful progress on implementing social media.
How many of these warning signs sound familiar in your organization?
- A secretive culture that doesn’t readily share information
- Senior executives talking about social media in generalities with great urgency
- A general fear of customers and the power they potentially hold over the brand
- An overly concentrated business with relatively few customers
- A distrust of employees and the judgment they use
- Complete confidence in senior managers and the judgment they use
- Disconnected customer interaction points (in plain English – customer service has no idea what sales is doing with a customer and vice versa)
- Inaccessible (or uninterested, uncooperative, etc.) content owners (i.e., subject matter experts)
- Slow and unpredictable approval times for traditional communications materials
- Multiple layers of approval for most communications materials
- Regulatory pressures which threaten open interactions with customers
- No one on the internal legal team assigned permanently to marketing who “gets” how marketing is trying to help move the business forward
- The internal legal department is a black hole where documents go in, but are nearly impossible to get back out
How did you organization do?
If you found a number of these warning signs in your business and you’re trying to get social media incorporated into your organization, consider getting some outside help to work through your red flags.
Mike Brown is an award-winning innovator in strategy, communications, and experience marketing. He authors the BrainzoomingTM blog, and serves as the company’s chief Catalyst. He wrote the ebook “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” and is a frequent keynote presenter.