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For Cultural Change in Social Media, Lead With Little Signals

For Cultural Change in Social Media, Lead With Little Signals Chris Boudreaux
A lot of organizations are trying to evolve past their organic, disparate social media activities and elevate social media into truly enterprise-class capabilities that support meaningful business goals. Within those efforts, organizations very often encounter cultural challenges, such as divides between Marketing and Sales, or acquired business units that make it difficult to execute a cohesive social media strategy.

In those cases, organizations should thoughtfully influence the elements of culture that can help them achieve their goals.

In any organization, there are four elements of culture that leaders can manage -- some directly, and some indirectly.

Of those four elements, the easiest to manipulate are often called "artifacts", which are the easily observable elements of culture that provide cues to employees. Common examples of artifacts can include the structure of the employee parking lot or the relative sizes of executive offices.

In corporate social media, artifacts can include the placement of links to employee blogs on the corporate web site and the degree to which Twitter accounts, blogs and YouTube videos from different business units appear together in a single, corporate social media presence.

While most functional, business or product leaders typically express strong interest in making social media successful in their company, the established cultural norms sometimes get in the way. It's just a fact of life that requires thoughtful strategies and tactics for success.

There are three additional elements required for successful culture management, and I'll discuss each of them in following articles.


FREE BOOK PREVIEW: Read a free chapter preview from The Social Media Management Handbook, just published by Wiley & Sons.
 

Email Chris Boudreaux

(415) 692-1250

@cboudreaux

Chris Boudreaux leads the Management Consulting practice at Converseon, where he helps leading brands to harness the power of social media to meet business objectives through his 17 years of experience in business process design, data integration, and governance. His work has been featured by industry researchers and journalists including Forrester and Gartner, and he founded SocialMediaGovernance.com, the foremost resource on governance in social media. Chris is co-author of The Social Media Management Handbook, and he has helped leading global corporations including Bank of America, Boeing, eBay, IBM, Kodak and Microsoft.

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