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Disclaimer: The views expressed on stopthinksocial are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle.
Tuesday
Jan172012

« Focus on the Easy Adopters, the Rest will Follow »

Social adoption strategies are not easy to implement in ANY business, and if anyone tells you differently they are lying!

The reason?

How can you convince people to change their communication and collaboration processes and implement a new social business infrastructure, when in their eyes the current model is not broken?

Let's see if any of these arguments sound familiar to you...

"What is the ROI of 'Being Social in the Workplace' anyway?"

"Social? That means I need to learn even more tools huh?"

"So you want my workforce to spend all their time on Facebook?"

"I'm already social, I sent a tweet last year"

These are what we call Social Barriers, the human instinct blockers based on fear.

Overcoming the fear of change is not easy and yes it is a generation thing. The younger generation are entering business with a good knowledge and understanding of social without the added baggage of pre-defined traditional business processes. Adoption is therefore natural and unforced.

So how do you overcome these Social Barriers in the workplace?

Focus on the Easy Adopters, the rest will follow...

There are are couple of ways to face these Social Barriers, and deliver a social adoption strategy:

  1. Face them head on - provide use cases, and counter arguments to defend your position and show that 'Being Social' is nothing to be afraid of. Convince them that it will INCREASE the productivity of your workforce, IMPROVE the collaboration opportunities and STREAMLINE their communications
  2. Focus on the Easy Adopters, the rest will follow - work with those in the organisation who see the vision and are ready and willing to change. This will help you refine your social adoption strategy and create new Ambassador's. The more Ambassador's you have the easier the Social Barriers will come down

The latter is an approach I have had a lot of success with, which has also helped influence C-Level buy-in.

You could choose either of these approaches or you can do both in parallel, just don't be afraid to change tactics if you find an approach is not working for you.

Every business WILL go social, it's just a matter of when, and how you approach it...

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