E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

Twelve Ways to Sell Social Media to Your Boss – Don’t Forget about Yourself!

A few days back, Chris Brogan did it again and put together a very insightful and helpful blog post, specially for those folks who are not so sure about how to sell Social Computing to their managers and whoever else up in the management chain. And to that effect he put together "Twelve Ways to Sell Social Media to Your Boss", which, in case you may not have seen it, is a very good read, indeed, to get plenty of good ideas on how you can bring up the conversation with your manager.

After having gone through the list a few times, there are, of course, a couple of them which would be part of my favourites, more than anything else because I have been experiencing them myself all along in my role as a social computing evangelist at IBM. To name:

"7. Internally, social media tools can be used to help with status information, training, project collaboration. Most tools like blogs, twitter-clones like identi.ca, etc can be set up internally instead of used on the public web, for more privacy. […]

9. Blogging helps a business differentiate and establish a thought leadership position"

In the case of #7, I am sure that it would come up to you rather quickly why it is one of my favourites, right? Yes, indeed, social computing tools can be used to help channel through plenty of those types of interactions and slowly, but steadily, move away from e-mail as your collaboration tool and open yourself to multiple various other options, which matches rather nicely what I have been doing over the last few months: giving up e-mail and use social software instead.

Social networking tools can help you bring out those interactions into much more open and collaborative spaces where you can excel with your thought leadership, and that of others, on what really drives your interests, while getting the job done.

And talking about thought leadership, item #9 is also one of my favourites, because over the course of the last few months I have realised that if it weren’t for my blogs and all of the social computing interactions on this very same topic that I have been having out there in the open, I wouldn’t have probably been that successful in moving away from e-mail. I think that most folks would have had plenty of skepticism about the whole thing, but the fact that I have been using, mostly, all of my blogs has allowed me to engage in the conversations with everyone interested in the topic and learn from what their experiences have been like so far in their attempts to give it a try for themselves.

Which brings me to the final point I would want to make from Chris’ blog post, and that, to me, is the main and fundamental way to sell social media to your boss. I am surprised that I didn’t see it getting mentioned, but I am sure that for most folks it is not going to be rocket science: yourself!

Yes, indeed, I am missing the now well famous me, me, me that Stowe Boyd has been talking about for a while now. That Social Media is all about me, that it all starts with you and your usage of those social software tools and then move forward on to figuring out how you engage with the rest of your social networks. The point where I think that, if I would be able to add a 12+1 to Chris’ post, it would be something along the lines of the following:

– In order to sell social media to your boss you first need to sell it to yourself!!

That’s right! Before we all get busy thinking about how we can sell social networking to our management line, we probably need to ensure we, ourselves, are sold on it!; that we, ourselves, see the many benefits injected into our daily workflow; that as a result of our adoption of those social software tools we are much more productive, much more responsive, much more knowledgeable, collaborative and prone towards pushing innovation further into new heights.

In short, in order to sell Social Media to our boss, we need to ensure we are passionate enough to demonstrate actively, and time and time again, the kind of impact that social software is having not only within our daily job(s), but also within our own personal lives. Because there is a great chance that passion you are willing to share with your boss is what will make it all contagious and get your management line sold out as soon as they see that excitement, that commitment, that involvement, that willingness to make a difference within your company and show everyone else it is possible. And you know why?

Well, more than anything else because you are the first one who is clearly benefiting from it all. You are the one, who, as a result, are much more productive, much more knowledgeable about your daily job, have an extensive social network of various dozens, perhaps, of subject matter experts as part of your social networks and, above all, are willing to spend some time showing everyone else why they would need to start paying attention to it, if they haven’t done so already, and engage actively from there onwards. *That*, to me, is how I would sell Social Computing to my boss!

But then again I may be privileged, because all the way to the top of my management line are already sold out on social computing. Perhaps now the next challenge for us all would then be convince your boss. Ready?

Let’s do it!

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