Think of one of the scariest things you’ve ever seen or heard. Does it carry a chainsaw? Does it fly around at night? Does it sit on your couch and eat all of your food? Or does it help connect people who normally wouldn’t have been able to speak to one another–like, Social Media?
When Steve Radick over at Social Media Strategery wrote “Why Social Media is Scary,” he gave us a few reasons why he thought social media was something that every part of an organization may be fearful of .
For junior employees - “Yeah, that’s great that I can start a blog that everyone in the organization can read, but what will I say? What if my grammar is wrong or I spell something wrong – will people think I can’t write? What if I disagree with something that my manager says? What if I write too much and my boss wonders why I wasn’t working? I don’t know – I’ll have to really think about it.”
For developers, programmers and other IT staff – “Ummm, I became an IT programmer because I hate people. I don’t like speaking out, and really enjoy just coding and sticking to myself. Now, you’re making me blog about my work? I have to post my code to a wiki? But, I can’t – it’s not ready for prime time yet. I can’t just post draft content out there – let me get my manager to review this first.”
For managers - “So, how much time is my staff going to be spending blogging/reading blogs rather than doing actual work? If my staff have questions about their project, their career, or their work environment, I want them coming to me, not blogging about it for the whole world to see. I’ve got an MBA and have been with the organization for five years – why would I put my work out there for people to change and mess up?”
For senior leadership - “What happens when people start using these platforms to just complain about everything? Why would I want to give everyone a place to whine about every little thing that’s bothering them? I can’t possibly keep up with every comment, question, and suggestion that goes up – I don’t have the time to do that!”
These fears are certainly understandable and I can definitely sympathize with the thoughts of the junior employees. However, there still needs to be some progression. Wondering which ghoul, goblin, intern, or employee is going to say the wrong thing shouldn’t scare you into not saying anything at all. Frightening or not, social media is a key element in showing personality and building connections with audiences.
If you and your organization don’t adapt, the entire business stands the chance of shrinking and possibly dying off…Now that’s a scary thought.