Charlene Li is a social media expert and author of Groundswell and the forthcoming Open Leadership. She says the social media trend isn’t a trend – it will be like air in the future – and it isn’t about technology. Rather, it’s about developing relationships you never would have been able to before. Since it’s inescapable, what do we do?
First, develop a strategy. Use it and get disciplined with it. How often do you write back to people on your blogs, on facebook, on Twitter. Start using it. It’s a valuable tool. You can use it and know the technology well, but if you’re not putting it to good use, you’re missing great opportunities.
Also, as you’re interacting with people, create “Sandbox Covenants” in your organization. Who can speak on your behalf and in what contexts.
Also, failure is inevitable as you’re figuring it out. Use failure as an opportunity to build trust in who you’re reaching. An example Li used was an innovation she wanted from Starbucks. She and several others posted it online, Starbucks tried it, and discovered it wouldn’t work. She was disappointed that it didn’t work, but her commitment to Starbucks grew as she understood that they listened to her and did their best.
How do you use social media? How have you seen it benefit your business/ministry? Have you had any failures that you’ve learned from?