Have you ever seen that marvelous feat that is the cross performed on the rings? Perfect balance, powerful muscles, attention engaged, determined focus on just that moment. Lots of training goes into preparing for that one moment.
Everything is happening inside, but the results are outside - visible for everyone to see.
That is like social media. For an organization to get ready, it needs to recruit and energize the people on the inside. Getting a team on board takes care of scale and takes care of excessive promotion - you spread the brain power and the emotional intelligence, the humanness of the company, thus the ability to create a stronger bond with the community. Because you engage a community yourself.
The Social Team
Yesterday, we talked about how to find, enable and recruit that team. One thing we didn't touch upon in the conversation was opportunity. How do you give people the opportunity to learn by doing without letting them break their neck, so to speak?
In gymnastics we have harnesses and coaches to help. So we should with learning how to use a new attitude. Because make no mistake, the social Web is not really about the pipes - you can train on how to use new tools. The social Web is about a different kind of water cooler space - that of every person, at every level, instead of just the executive group.
Are the members of this team then designated spokespeople? Is your image of that organization and brand going to change from what current equity the brand already has? What and where is the real transformation going to take place?
Pendulum Swinging Wildly
For a big change to occur, usually the pendulum needs to swing wildly from one side to the other. Last year you had a good economy and an ok budget (who has lavish budgets anymore?) and this year things are tight on both fronts. On one project you had a very tight managing boss, on the other one totally cool with what you propose.
In the past you had plenty of customers lining up to sign with you, today you have plenty of competitors doing that same job in other ways. Somewhere in there, you probably lost your ways, or you got lost yourself. What used to work, doesn't do the trick anymore. That includes - but is not limited to - marketing.
Unless you believe that customer experience by all customer-facing functions - should report into marketing. That would be an interesting study to undertake. What happens when marketing becomes a despot? Enter the no-fun-league. Putting more rules and regulations is not the answer to prosperity.
There is an exception to every rule. Incentives wouldn't do the job, either? Offering protection and value is not the only good thing you can do for your fans - internal and external. People want to do the right thing, but they won't be able to do that, unless there is clarity from the business.
You cannot swing wildly one day in one direction, the next in the other, and expect that everyone will follow. Embracing a vision starts with clarity, it continues with coaching and support, and it comes to life with practical application.
What does success look like? Do you want that team to succeed? Do you want your customers to succeed? That's what it looks like.
Next week we will talk about another kind of gymnastics, one that was born to represent the social Web. You will learn what social is about for your business - it's not about new promotional digital tools.
[image by Raphael Goetter]