6 Principles That Lead to Social-Media Success
[Editor's note: This article is adapted from Barry Libert's book, "Social Nation."]
A 2009 study by the Nielsen Co. revealed that employees, partners and customers/donors spent 17 percent of their online time social networking or blogging — and 83 percent more time in online social networks than the year prior. Essentially, these statistics tell us that organizations need to embrace and capture the voices of their staff and donors if they want to innovate and thrive.
Here are six rules for implementing a successful social-media strategy in your organization and for-profit examples nonprofits can model themselves after:
Rule 1: Develop your social skills
Leaders in this new social nation are expected to follow as much as they lead, collaborating with their colleagues while still providing structure and support. In boardrooms and offices around the world, leaders are starting to become more interconnected to put others' needs first and find motivation in helping others succeed. They facilitate rather than control.
You can't expect your organization's social nation to be successful if you as a leader don't think about the needs and wants of your employees and customers. I'm reminded of Andrea Jung, CEO of Avon. She strives to make Avon a "company for women," and feels that it's very important to empower the company's saleswomen by talking with them about what matters to them as well as to Avon. And guess what? Avon was one of the few companies to chart growth during the 2008-2009 recession.
Rule 2: Let culture lead your way
When building your social organization, remember that the DNA of the organization is very important, so let an open and honest culture be a guiding principle. After all, culture defines your company because it tells employees what to expect and lets donors know who you are and what you stand for.