Organisational social media jitters

Some executives are very nervous about social media. Caroline Dangson, a research analyst covering social media for IDC’s digital marketplace team, has some interesting insights into this condition.

Caroline argues that some executives are fearful of the transparency of social media. Others fear that it means them losing their traditional power bases.  This condition, she says, can be overcome by education. Fear comes from inexperience.

But social media will not go away, and all the time individual employees are bringing social media tools into organisations.

You can read Caroline’s post here in full.

I can remember being nervous about writing and publishing my first blog post. You soon get over it. Companies must give people a chance to experiment.

It is also worth pointing out that the fear of key executives could be putting good companies at a severe competitive disadvantage.  Social media enables you to gain valuable insights into your market and provides new channels of communication for listening and engaging with key audiences.  It’s not just another  narrow branch of IT.

If you are not connected to social media as a business then you could fail to maintain the loyalty of key audiences who are already using these new technologies.  And more nimble and less fearful competitors could begin to edge ahead of you.

As Jeff Jarvis says in his book, ‘What Would Google Do?’, it is time for companies to ‘blog, interact with bloggers, enable customers to critique your products, enable them to share ideas. Next, involve them in the genesis of your products, even your design process….Go ahead, try it. It’s about people and making new connections among them. It all comes back to relationships.’

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