Three Ways to Change Your Culture to Invite Social Media Use

Yesterday my friend, Gini Dietrich, wrote a blog post about changing your culture to invite social media use among employees.

She is a big proponent of integrating social media with offline marketing, and spends a good portion of her time speaking on the topic with business leaders.

What she is finding is, as compared to three years ago, executives are getting on board with using the web for business growth, but we don’t know how to encourage employees to use social media at work…and not just for personal use.

She’s right, when she says it’s all about changing the culture. And there is no one who can do that for us.

According to Chris Edmonds, the man who co-wrote Leading at a Higher Level withKen Blanchard, there are three things we have to do:

  1. Senior leaders (of the organization/department/team) must champion the culture change. The responsibility for proactive management of team culture cannot be delegated to any other player or role. Only senior leaders can change expectations, structure, policies, and procedures to support the desired culture.
  2. Senior leaders must create measurable, behavioralized values. You have to define what it means to use social media for business purposes. What does success look like? How will internal brand ambassadors act? What will they say and do online?
  3. Senior leaders hold themselves and all staff accountable for both performance standards and values expectations. Once valued behaviors are published, leaders at all levels are “under the microscope.” Employees will be observing leaders’ plans, decisions, and actions closely to see if they “walk the values talk.” Only when leaders demonstrate desired valued behaviors will the employee population embrace those behaviors. Which means you have to use social media. Yes, I know. You don’t have time. But, if you want it to work (and it does work), you have to demonstrate you’re willing to carve out some time each day to participate online. You have to demonstrate the online behavior you want from your team.

What do you think? Is social media becoming important enough inside your organization that the culture needs to change in order to systemize it throughout every department?

* Gini owns Arment Dietrich, the marketing communication firm UGN works with on all offline and online programs.

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Im not going to say what everyone else has already said, but I do want to comment on your knowledge of the topic. Youre truly well-informed. I cant believe how much

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I think at first a lot of companies did social media because everyone was doing it, but put no thought or heart into it. I think that is beginning to change and I think that your idea of measurable, behavioralized values and accountability for staff is a great way to encourage staff to engage but within a proper framework.

petercanthony moderator

 @LauraC Thanks Laura. I think you're right...many companies rushed to get on the next bandwagon, without thinking about the strategy behind what they were doing. What most fail to realize is social media serves an additional communication channel and should be treated just like any other tactic.