Skip to content

Social media acceptance

As one of those people who was initially resistant to social media, I can understand an audience that doesn’t want to experiment, just doesn’t get it,  can’t be bothered, and who don’t want to be connected all the time.

Three things on shifting your audience & leadership:

  • Create the time to play with the media
    • I left my job. I had time to play. I really didn’t want to get engaged in social media but felt like I should. At my previous job, we had tried to play with social media within the organization but it was a limited closed circuit. What we should have done, is played with social media in the world wide web — where it’s more dynamic, where you can participate in existing communities.
    • Informal company communications – I wish Twitter was more popular before I had left my job. It’s the one way I can imagine people on different floors keeping up with each other (cross-floor communication became an issue). It would have closed the physical space that opened up after we moved to new offices and the informal chatter lessened. It would have decreased the space between offices in NY, Durham, London. Or people offsite communicating how a client program is going (For example, I could have really used Twitter the time when our a video got held at Canadian Customs and my boss got held at Immigration — I felt very alone.) Twitter would have improved informal communications within our organization. These are spaces where  Twitter can play and help people do their jobs.
    • It depends in part on the type of work and group dynamics of your organization.
  • Provide constraints – let them ease into it
    • There is one thing that got my into social media through blogging: it was Karl Kapp’s line “every learning professional should blog, if only for a month”. Blogging for a month — that I could do. I was participating in Work Literacy in Fall of 2008. I started to blog and it changed my connection to my work and opened up a community of support. Every learning professional should blog — about something they care about — if only for a month.
    • Others should be asked to comment on your blog — only for a month.
    • Rotate the blog contributors — so they each do it for a month.
    • Maybe  monthly/weekly team reports should be done on a blog.
    • Tweet once a day to a community of practice such as #lrnchat, #astd, #dl09, #learntrends – and follow the conversations/hashtags for that community to see if one learns anything new.
  • Get influencers within the resistant cohort and/or leadership
    • I remember trying to teach Second Life (SL)to senior executives. The one question I always got was “Why should we bother, it’s not real.” So I positioned the economy of SL and other virtual worlds as emerging economies. How large (in USD) are these economies? Is this a place where you want to have a presence? How do you regulate in this emerging economy? What are the opportunities? Risks? Are you clients here? (That one always got them.) Are your staff here?
    • Teaching social media to leadership or anyone in the company I would ask similar questions. Social media is in part a reputation/branding engine. What are people saying about your company? Your brand? Are your staff here? Are your clients or customers here? Don’t tell them all, let them discover most of the answers for themselves. Call it research, call it discovery learning.
    • Examine those places that we don’t usually think of as social media — Amazon, photo sharing sites, Yelp, Ning, Delicious. I thought because I didn’t participate in Blogs, Facebook, Twtitter, LinkedIn that I wasn’t on social media. Not true
    • The harder thing to do is find measurements of social media learning that matter to your organization. Is there a pain point you can link social media to (customer complaints, etc.)? Is there a way you can measure the impact of social media?

Social media is a way for the learning department to have an impact beyond just learning and link it to the organization as a whole. It’s informal.

Just some thoughts.

Posted in ASTD big question, social media.

Tagged with , , , , , , , .

One Response

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Continuing the Discussion

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.