Community management and social business is a discipline, not a discrete set of tasks and boxes to be completed and checked off before you move on to something else. We’ve written about this before and I was reminded of it yesterday from a tweet from IBM’s Vice President of Social Business Evangelism, Sandy Carter
And we agree. Social is a lifestyle change, not something you do for a day, a week, a month, six months, or a even a year. It’s not a fad diet. It’s changing your diet for the long haul. It’s eating your five fruits and vegetables most days for years, not just until you lose a few pounds. For some it’s changing old ingrained habits with new ones. For others, this is like falling off a log. They’ve had a social mindset and discipline all along.
I think the reason Sandy’s tweet hit a particular note is it is a trend we are seeing. Community management has matured. There are many more companies who have moved from the hierarchical stage to emergent and beyond. And we are seeing and hearing from our advisory clients and TheCR Network members that their communities are gaining momentum. They are aligned with company strategy and are moving goals forward, but many executives are still in “let’s wait and see” mode. Others may be believers, but are not participating in their communities or using social tools themselves and are therefore hindering efforts to move forward.
Helping community professionals make the case to their executives is something we hope to accomplish with our upcoming research into The Social Executive. It is also something we’re seeing lots of conversation about. There was this tongue in cheek article yesterday and this more compelling article on why and how being more collaborative on social platforms is good for executives and for business.
What do you think? Is your company on a social and community fad diet or are they interested in changing habits for the long term? What are the artifacts you’ve seen of companies that are doing it right?
The Community Roundtable provides strategic, tactical and professional development programming for community and social business leaders through online training, a membership based peer to peer network, a monthly report subscription curating important content to stay abreast of, and advisory services for organizations in all stages of their online community and social business development.