When introducing and trying to engage employees and community stakeholders in social media platforms, there may be many barriers, fears, concerns and attitudes that pose a cultural change challenge. Therefore, it is necessary to research and listen to these employees and community stakeholders on their opinions, visions and attitudes about engaging in social media to assess the need for a specific culture change and internal marketing strategy to deal with these obstacles. For instance, some of the barriers may be:

  • Fear of negative reaction from customers
  • Lack of time or internal resources
  • Fear of extra workload for the employees
  • Lack of knowledge and expertise
  • Not convinced about its profitability
  • Fear of losing privacy

Once all the barriers are well known, there has to be design and implementation of a Change Strategy to overcome them based on the following sequential patterns:

1. Create a guiding coalition ·   Identify and engage change agents as social media catalysts

·   Assemble a coherent group to lead the change

·   Integrate this team into the affected groups

·   Bring in champions in each group dedicated to social media success

2. Develop a clear vision ·   Create a catalyzing vision for the social media effort

·   Develop strategy in line with the overall vision

3. Share the vision ·   Communicate the vision in every possible way to the community

·   Commit executive and community leadership to supporting the vision

·   Coalition members should be role models for the community

1.    4. Empower people and remove obstacles ·   Organize training courses on storytelling and content creation

·   Organize training courses on social media adapted to all audiences

·   Change structures, systems, compensation and any factors that obstruct the social media effort

5. Secure consistent short-term wins ·   Make public and visible performance improvements

·   Celebrate victories in line with the overall  program vision

·   Reward and recognize those securing the wins

·   Publicize the progress of the project together with the contests

6. Consolidate and keep moving ·  Use momentum to gradually change all systems and processes that don’t support the program’s success

·  Enable change agents throughout the organization and community

·  Energize the project with consistent flow of new content of all types

7. Anchor the program in the organization and the community ·  New approach should be anchored in the culture of the community

·  Real key to social media success is in transforming the organization and community to the culture of a social enterprise

·  Maintain consistent action to further embed behaviors and discipline

 Do you think of other barriers or necessary steps to overcome the stated ones?

Posted by Jordi Pera

Jordi Pera is an economist passionate about tourism, strategy, marketing, sustainability, business modelling and open innovation. He has international experience in marketing, intelligence research, strategy planning, business model innovation and lecturing, having developed most of his career in the tourism industry. Jordi is keen on tackling innovation and strategy challenges that require imagination, entail thoughtful analysis and are to be solved with creative solutions.

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