What about those that don’t want to?

How do we get those who actively resist on board?

There are a lot of people who just do their job. Nothing more, nothing less. They show up at work, do what they need to do and leave. And that’s OK.

But, the premise for social business is that everybody gets involved (or needs to be). That the basic philosophy of the company changes, along with the way employees are being evaluated.
Meaning that we evaluate employees on the level of engagement, contact with others and content created and shared. Or even the likes they’ve gotten over the year.

So what about those that don’t want to do that, those that do not have a Facebook or Twitter account.., do not believe in social media at all?

Count Schnauzer is Reluctant
“Count Schnauzer is Reluctant” by spinnerdisc

Uncovertible vs. Unwilling

I did write a post about converting the unconvertable, but that was about people who were just reluctant, or didn’t quite get it, but were willing to listen. Not about active naysayers.

It goes beyond social media marketing practices because there you focus on those that do connect.., not on the ones that refuse and do not want to engage.
It’s also just a bit more than regular change management because it calls for a more of a behavioural change as opposed to just organisational.
Even HR would get lost here because for them it’s usually about procedures, forms and recruitment.

I must admit.., when I started this post, I was a bit stumped. I couldn’t straight away figure out how we would go about it.

Putting It To Google+

I decided to put the question to my recently discovered Social Business community at Google+ (created and moderated by Paul Simbeck-Hampson).

Bernd Nurnberger: “It is about building trust, find out what is needed and wanted, share ideas or goals, and strike a deal if both may have a benefit.”

Paul Simbeck-Hampson: “To get them on board create the best possible conditions for them to engage, then get out of the way. Be ready to support when they are ready. In the meantime foster those who do want to play; the more momentum they create, the more others will be attracted.”

Jay Cross: “You could post the stats on the non-participants and let the true believers convince them.”

Josh Chandler: “Be the facilitator rather then the dictator.”

Joachim Stroh: “Just like at beginning of the 20th century we picked up the phone and started calling, pick up your blog/stream/space and start sharing openly.”

Amrith Das: “Assuming they are valuable, offering naysayers a compelling reason (faster, cheaper, better) for getting work that matters to them done, socially.”

In Conclusion

Personally I do not like peer pressure. I would not reward those with a high score and punish those with a low score. This will create too much friction and division.., we aim to achieve quite the opposite.

What we need to do then is implement the changes without being intrusive. Offer benefits and help them achieve their goals with minimum effort from their side.

Create an environment where doubters can take their time and observe before they engage.

How Do You Convert The Unconvertible?

how to convert the uncovertableWith a lot of patience.

Jay Baer’s company blog is called “Convince and Convert“, because you can only convert someone after you convince them. And according to Seth Godin even that is not enough when you want to sell something, because then, you can only convince after you persuade somebody.

Hence patience.

But, let’s dig a little deeper.

per·suade /pərˈswād/

  1. Cause (someone) to do something through reasoning or argument.
  2. Cause (someone) to believe something, esp. after a sustained effort; convince.

Synonyms: convince – induce – coax – prevail – argue

con·vince /kənˈvins/

  1. Cause (someone) to believe firmly in the truth of something.
  2. Persuade (someone) to do something.

Synonyms: persuade – satisfy – assure – induce

Oh my.., those two are very similar.., do you reckon Jay and Seth are barking up the same tree or do they both have a point and both have a different angle?

Here’s what I believe is the difference between the two.


When we need to sell or market something to strangers a slightly more gentle approach is needed. You cannot force somebody to like your product.., you need to entice them, woo them, persuade them.


When you present your social media strategy in a corporate environment a more firm approach is needed. You have to make them believe, wow them, convince them.

con·vert /kənˈvərt/
Verb: Cause to change in form, character, or function.
Noun: A person who has been persuaded to change their religious faith or other beliefs.
verb. change – transform – turn – transmute – alter
noun. proselyte


In the end it does boil down to the same thing, you need to convert them. ‘Them’ can be your blog readers, your customers or your board of directors…
Either way, it takes patience to convert anybody, because conversion means change.., and people aren’t that good with change.

After all, we are creatures of habit.

To answer the question

So, this is all very literal, but how do you convert the unconvertable? A little more real then.., here’s a list of what I think you should bring to the table (in no particular order):

  • Proof
  • Leadership (by example)
  • Show them
  • Passion
  • Conviction
  • Persistence

It all depends on what you want to sell and who you want to sell it to.

For instance, trying to convert somebody to a religion will take a lot more persuasion than convincing them to like a Facebook status update (see what I did there, using all three of them in one sentence).
Like all strategies you need to create them to the goals you’ve set and adapt them along the way. If one approach doesn’t work, try another.
Find your champions, people who are already on your side and get them on board.., then, with their help, try and tackle others, one by one.


  • Set goals
  • Create a strategy
  • Find champions
  • Adjust your strategy if necessary
  • Rinse and repeat