Let’s explore some of the reasons that I have identified in my dealings with big corporates.
(1) “We are not experts at this” – FEAR FOR THE UNKNOWN – Very often we believe that when it comes to the unknown, we have to get an expert that has done it before to show us the way. What we don’t consider is that this expert has no knowledge or emotional attachment to your business. They dont interact with your fans on a daily basis, and although they know the tools and unspoken “rules”, they are in fact not best positioned to lead the conversation!
(2) “We just don’t have the people” – RESOURCE CONSTRAINTS. This I believe is a easy cop-out. If @michaeljordaan can find time in his busy day to tweet, I challenge every CEO in corporate South Africa to do the same! There are people in your organisation that are not referred to as millineals, they can multi-task while using multiple devices. Not like us old fogies that suffer from sever attention deficit after spending 15 minutes on twitter.
(3) “We will need governance and a policy otherwise this could land us in big trouble!” – RISK AVERSENESS AND GOVERNANCE. So we decide to rather let an agency have social conversations after putting in place a contract with service level agreements and “governance”. Well you know what, you cant control everything in this new world, the best you can do is at least have access to the conversations that are happening. Best Buy, has sone really great “governance” in place for their Twelp force of over 3000 employees. “BE SMART, BE RESPECTFUL, BE HUMAN”
So, my advice. Go and gather the most passionate people in your organisation, the ones who would run in a burning building for you! Let them design the rules for engaging on social media and let them lead the conversation and just see what happens. You dont need to be perfect in social media, you just need to be respectful and human and authentic and people will love your brand even more.