For we social marketers to play the whole field when it comes to social media, our co-workers must work with us as a team. The clue’s in the name, after all. It’s close to impossible to be social all by yourself.
Trouble arises when not all your team are on board with social media. It’s even worse when co-workers actively or sub-consciously sabotage your social success. This sabotage can be blatant or subtle. Either way, you need to know how to spot it, so you can nip it in the bud.
Here are the ways your co-workers can undermine all your social media efforts:
Wasting Time on Facebook and Twitter
This is a really subtle way of undermining your social strategy. It’s especially pernicious, as it causes so much damage.
When your co-workers use social media as a procrastination tool, they’re doing their utmost to show your boss that social media is bad for business. These co-workers are creating a negative image of social media than will undermine your efforts to create a powerful social strategy.
The solution: Be clear with your team that when in the workplace, social media is about creating great content, not about consuming content. They can do all the consuming they like in their own time.
“You’re Wasting Your Time”
This is similar to the previous point, except instead of wasting time their own on social media, your co-workers accuse you of wasting time every time you log into a social network.
People with this mindset may have an even more aggressive approach: “Nothing good will come of it,” or they may be more subtle, expressing their criticism as concern: “Are you sure you’re doing it right?”
Telling you that you’re wasting your time is a clear challenge to your vision and strategy. In effect, those who do this are questioning the value of your work.
The solution: Be open about sharing your strategy, the results you expect to see, and why you’re doing things a certain way. Asking for input from others is one of the best ways to get your co-workers on board with your vision.
Refusing to Try New Technology
The landscape of social is constantly changing. New social networks rise and old ones fall with every passing year.
To those who are afraid of change, this constant influx of new technology can be intimidating. They’d prefer to stick to the old ways – “How we’ve always done things here.”
Yes, there are some dinosaurs you’ll never convince to post a tweet, no matter how hard you try. But for the most part, you should recognize this strategy for what it is. Those who refuse to try new things are burying their heads in the sand. Technology will continue to develop at an ever-faster pace. These ostriches need to man-up and realize that the world has moved on; otherwise they risk dragging you all down to their level.
The solution: Offer training to those at risk of falling behind with social media. Integrate social tools into the daily workflow of your company, so no one has an excuse for ignoring them.
They Rarely Take Initiative or Learn Things for Themselves
There was a time (many, many decades ago) when jobs were for life. You spent your youth learning the skills you needed for your chosen profession.
You might have learned a few new things on the job, but mostly work was the same every day.
These days, most people change jobs every four years. That means having at least ten jobs within a career. We’re all constantly learning new things. That’s why Google comes in so handy. Anything you’re stuck with, you can find a solution, fast.
Yet some people haven’t yet realized the help Google can offer, or they refuse to seek help from a computer. They prefer to stay stuck or to cry for help from colleagues. While it’s fine to ask for help sometimes, if your co-workers can’t take the initiative and work things out for themselves on social media, you’ll find that you’re constantly firefighting instead of doing your real work.
The solution: Give a man a fish, you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you’ll feed him for life. Teach your team that Google is their friend and that it’s okay to take the initiative.
Sadly, this happens all too often in businesses with a negative culture. If it happens on your team, you need to turn that around.
Social media is all about engaging positively with your customers and listening to what they need. If your team sees customers as a problem to be dealt with rather than the lifeblood of your business, then they’ll struggle to get the point of social media.
The solution: Make it clear to all your team that your customers ultimately pay their salaries. No customers, no jobs. Then lead by example. Take a positive attitude to customer enquiries, and teach others to do the same.
Thinking They Know Best
Just because anyone can set up a Facebook account doesn’t mean anyone knows how to engage effectively on social media. It’s a great idea to empower your team to be involved in your social strategy. However, you’ll need to steer them carefully so they know what makes good marketing and what will alienate your fans and followers. You’re the one who will have to clean up if they mess things up on social.
The solution: Make sure all your team know about social media best practices. When someone’s still learning, have him or her ride with training wheels, so you check their updates and comments before they post them.
Refusing to Pitch In
The best social strategies involve your whole team. You want everyone to pitch in to make things happen and contribute their unique perspectives.
People who say, “Social media is your job because you’re the social media manager” are sabotaging your company’s social success.
The solution: Explain the value of everyone being involved, and be vulnerable enough to admit that you can’t go it alone.