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Bringing social to your business

I’m at VMworld this week, and last night I got dinner with Mark Stouse, who’s now running communications at BMC. His mission is not a small one — essentially to overhaul the company, including a heavy company-wide involvement in social media. We started talking about how to make this initiative successful and I wanted to post it here to share the knowledge a little more broadly. Here are a few of the main points:

  • Encourage every early seedling. When you’re starting with nearly barren ground, you need to support and promote even the smallest efforts … a blog post here and there, people signing up for Twitter, etc. A little gratitude and appreciation works wonders.
  • Make social media part of the job — literally. Include involvement via blogs, Twitter, etc in performance reviews and promotion criteria. If people aren’t allowed the time to participate, or even worse, if you kill rather than nurture your strongest proponents (who should be seen as future evangelists), it won’t be seen as a credible effort.
  • Walk the talk. Getting high-level executives to not only buy into the importance of social business but also participate themselves is crucial to its success. Given the vast demands on every executive’s time and their increasingly interrupt-driven lives, sell it as a rare opportunity for them to think deeply about corporate strategy and the industry as a whole, then to promote their company’s leadership in that space.

Disclosure: VMware is a client and paid for my travel and hotel at VMworld. BMC is not a client.


Categories: community, marketing, social.