Executives need to understand five key aspects of social media.
- Weigh gains against risks. Social media is moving fast and it’s here to stay, so the upside is way bigger than the downside. If you don’t engage, you’ll risk lagging behind your competition. Add these arrows to your quiver by choosing a few outlets for social media: better communication, plus bigger communities and the potential they bring for new business and the chance to gather collective intelligence. Social media does pose risks to reputation and security. But hey, you face those anyway. Better to put your best foot forward on Yelp and Facebook than deal with random trolls all over the Web.
- Align your goals. How can social media help you achieve your mission? Setting it up without a plan is a waste of time. Your plan needn’t be elaborate; just gather your trusted deputies and think it through.
- Actively support it. This project should be run from the top because it’s about the identity of your organization. Create a vision and engage.
- Don’t blow off training. Social media training for your staff will help everybody find opportunities for marketing and promotion. All employees should be in on the fun (and it should be fun), not just the “savvy” people.
- Consider your culture. A closed culture will dull your use of social media as a positive catalyst, but a wide-open culture could leak sensitive information. Encourage your entire staff to participate but funnel the organization’s social media through a trusted gatekeeper.
Source: Washington Business Journal.