Social Media Leadership Forum session

We had a really interesting Social Media Leadership Forum members session yesterday.

These were some of the key issues that came up:

CEOs who sign up to social media can make a difference, however middle management can act as a drag on activity.

Senior executives need to know that social media is a series of different platforms through which key company messages can be distributed. The aims of communication remain the same, the means is changing.

Different organisations require different approaches to getting social media going. For example, a more academic company culture might require a report to demonstrate the fundamental changes in news and information distribution and consumption.

Far sighted managers often have to ‘just get on with it’ to make things happen. To prevent corporate inertia preventing necessary change, new ground has to be broken by pioneers. Then the company catches up, recognises the value and marshalls resources behind these new opportunities.

Demonstrating value is crucial for company buy-in, whether this is showing customer feedback or illustrating case studies of what competitors are up to.

Legal departments are in danger of losing the plot. Legal teams needs to wake up to the realities of social media, otherwise they are going to become typecast as reactionaries who are utterly out of touch with the modern world. It is crucial that their advice is practical. They should be looking to be informed facilitators, not obstacles. Nor should they lead policy. They should be a back up resource, like libel teams at newspapers.

Experimentation is crucial as well, giving people the chance to make mistakes and learn.

Creating ‘social’ workplaces is becoming increasingly important, in terms of cutting down email and promoting more efficient ways of working. It also has a clear impact on the quality of external social media communications.

The more ‘social’ you are as a business in the way you share information the more relevant your external communications will naturally become  for your key audiences.

Internal video communications can have a major impact on how information is shared and how executives are perceived.