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.

Not All Businesses Are Created Social

It takes a lot for a business to become a social business. Obviously, having a Facebook page or a Twitter account is only a very small beginning and hardly mentionable (in this day and age).
Even when a business has every aspect of the interaction with it’s clients covered through social media.., it still can’t be called a social business.

Image by Anthony Farrigo

External & Internal

Basically there are 2 aspects of social.., the way we communicate with our clients (externally) and the way we communicate with our employees (internally).
External and internal, both are critically important.

No More Email

Some colleges do not give out email addresses any more.
Some companies do not give out email addresses any more.

Say what?

This means, for one thing, that at some point, some kid will apply for some job at some company and will ask which platform they use for internal communication.., and when the answer is ‘Outlook’.., that kid will choose the competition.

But, I hear you think, our company does interact with clients through social, we even have a customer care Twitter account.., we are social.
Well, like I stated before, it takes a bit more than that, but externally you are on the right track, it’s a beginning. There are still a few steps to take to become a social business.

So, let’s assume you do everything to engage fully with your clients (be that B2C or B2B), you have a solid crisis plan, a clear social media policy and a good response time from your webcare team.

Social Business


Becoming a social business means turning your focus inward, and this will help you to stand out the coming decade, or as some say, the coming 5 years.

The traditional command and control structure where departments and individuals (and thus knowledge) are neatly sorted in silos will not be able to adapt fast enough.
For now this is not a problem.., but wait a couple of years and everybody who doesn’t play ball will suffer the consequences.

Yes, the internal structure, the company’s philosophy, the way we behave, communicate and share information internally will have to change.
In fact, I believe this is even more important than making sure all your i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed with external social media, customer care and marketing.

The only way for a company to be able to keep up with the interstellar speed with which the Internet (and thus society) changes is to have an organisation that can change (adapt) at the drop of a hat.
This means having a (solid) social foundation.

Just imagine the speed at which we’ve adopted social media and how profoundly this has changed the way we communicate.

I know, it sounds a bit dramatic.., but just think about it.

No, I’m serious. Stop reading and think about it for a while.

And let me know your what your take is on social business.