Last night – at our Board – the Chair opened the meeting with a question that I was utterly unprepared for.
“Does anyone have an objection to people tweeting during this meeting? As long as they keep the comments relevant to the items being discussed?”.
A couple of eyebrows were raised. But nobody objected.
This is our journey so far.
12 months ago – nobody had access to social media at Bromford. Today everybody does. Unrestricted.
My hybrid work/personal twitter account @paulbromford was created exactly 1 year ago. Our Facebook pages opened 1 year ago. Our 1st blog appeared 1 year ago.
We still have no policy as such. There is no big list of rules. It’s a system run on trust and common sense rather than rules and procedure.
This has been Bromford Social Media Year 1 and these are my personal takeaways.
1 – Get your key leaders on board. If you do that – things will catch fire. There is no need to get everyone on side with you. Just a few. The enthusiasts. If you get your CEO on board , you get a gold star. Your CEO will legitimise it for everyone else and will be the fastest route to mass acceptance.
2 – Trust people. We have had unrestricted access to social media and one of our most productive years ever. People don’t come to work to sit on facebook all day. They come to do a good job. Believe in that. If you have disengaged employees just do your job and deal with it. Don’t be lazy and blame social media.
3 – Don’t listen to people who want policies, procedures and return on investment. Look – I struggle to be constructive here . I’m not being unkind but they just don’t get it. You concentrate on being the innovator and they will catch up eventually. When they see the party going on they will want to join. Just get on and organize the party.
4 – Give people a playground. For us it was Yammer. Our internal social network. For many of our customers and colleagues their first experience of social networking has been on Yammer. It’s a very short step for colleagues to take from sharing what they are up to at work with other colleagues – and then moving that activity to Twitter , Facebook and our current growth area – blogging.
5 – Trust customers. They don’t get out of bed in the morning with the intent to bring us down. Really! You will be surprised. Most people like you and appreciate your transparency. Start from that point and don’t listen to anyone who tells you otherwise. And customers don’t really expect a response when they do criticize you on Facebook. Surprise them. Talk to them. They like it.
6 – Learn from others. Twitter is such a friendly and sharing community. Nobody wants to see anyone fail. If you are stuck just ask someone. We still do on a daily basis and I’m sure we will still be doing in 3 years time. Trust the community – not consultants.
So its our Birthday.
Year Two starts today.