8 - no make it 6 -- ways to destroy your career using social media

By John Mancini posted 05-14-2010 07:57


Many of you probably know that I regularly publish guest commentary under the "8 things" label on my blog, Digital Landfill (http://www.aiim.typepad.com). I also compile these postings into e-books, which are available for free download at http://www.aiim.org/8things.

I thought I would have a fun with this post and think about things that one should NOT do with social media. I have intentionally limited my list to 6 rather than the usual 8 so that the is some room for audience participation. So have a little fun with this post - what outrageous things can YOU add to the list? Why not post a comment?

8 -- no 6 -- ways to destroy your career using social media

1 -- Assume that there is such a thing as variable security settings on Facebook.

I hear many these days talking about walling off different parts of Facebook through their variable secure settings, and thereby creating separation between your work persona and your play persona. Under this theory, it's possible to post your rantings about your boss or your pictures from that night of excess in Tijuana such that only your friends can see it. But your "security" in this context is only as good as the integrity of the weakest of your friends. When it comes to those racy pictures, you can bank on the law of involuntary content syndication. Electrons last forever. If you wouldn't want you Mom to see it, don't post it. Because it will likely show up at work as well.

2 -- Be anything less than transparent in your social dealings with customers.

Back in the days when media was expensive and only the rich could afford access, it was possible to control the message. Odds are you could fake it and no one would be the wiser. Try that on Twitter and the masses will turn on you with a vengeance. The previous advice about Mom holds true again - if Mom wouldn't believe you, don't tweet it.

3 -- Imagine that unfavorable commentary about your company will just go away.

Again, back in the days of controlled media, it was reasonable to assume that many stories would just die on the vine. In this environment, simply ignoring an unfavorable story was usually a pretty decent strategy. No more. Let a bad story linger without honestly addressing it, and it will likely split and multiply.

4 -- Assume that there is no difference between external social media (i.e., using Facebook for marketing purposes) and applying social tools for collaboration inside the firewall.

This one is for all the bosses out there. I can't tell you how many times I have had conversations with business executives about social media, and they immediately assume that I am talking about employees using Facebook on company time and nothing but that. This narrow view is destined to paint many organizations into a corner in the years ahead when they belatedly discover that their competitors have spent the past two years deploying richly collaborative tools to improve their core business processes while they have been worrying about work access to Facebook. And by then it will be too late. See my video on this subject -- Who Needs a Freaking Strategy for Enterprise 2.0 Anyway?

5 -- Ignore change management.

This one is for all those IT folks out there. Building a social culture that has legs (one that will have a half life longer than the initial introductory training) requires patience. And an understanding that building this type of culture is not just a matter of rolling out the technology toolkit. It is, in fact, a question of building a new kind of organization and a new kind of culture. We have spent decades building organizations that valued protecting and limiting information rather than sharing it. Change won't happen overnight. To think otherwise will fate your well-intentioned social plans to the dustbin of past top-down knowledge management initiatives.

6 --  Take the Big Bang approach in deploying social technologies inside the enterprise.

Building an E2.0 organization does not happen all at once. Find your advocates. Build small successes. Roll out in phases. If it seems too difficult, rethink your approach. 

#AIIM #enterprise2.0 #E20 #socialmedia #facebook