I predict that we will look back on this discussion in a few years, and find it hard to believe we were dealing with this.
Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Martindale-Hubbell Connected, or any of a number of other Social Media networking sites, when managed strategically, they have the potential to serve your firm’s business and marketing plans in a very positive way.
So..what to do about your people and social media to help them become a strategic complement to your business goals?
Set a few guidelines with your professionals and staff. I’m going to oversimplify my suggestions because of space, but to summarize:
Share your marketing and business plans and goals with all of them regularly, and let them know you are in favor of creating 300 new marketing department members, or however many people you have in your firm. Let them know that you look for their use of these, and all other communication vehicles used during office hours, including telephones, computers, conversations, etc., to advance those goals and positions you have decided are important to your firm.
Be very clear about the tone and goals you have established for your firm. Let them know you trust them, give them instruction and guidance, let them know what you expect, what your goals for them are, and that the firm looks forward to Following, Friending and watching them help advance the firm’s goals during business hours if they are interested in using social media. Give them an idea what you consider reasonable use. Better yet, set an example by using these tools effectively yourself, and be obvious to them so they can watch how you do it!
If you are too busy to think about all these guidelines, and this strategy, and how you should be using the tools, then bring someone in to coordinate and lead this entire effort for you if you don’t have time.
Social Media and other networking tools are not going away, so it is wise to deal with them internally now, or you will find yourselves frustrated as new apps are developed to help people mask their use on your computers, or when people say things that are inconsistent or damaging to your brand.