7 Ways to Introduce Clueless Colleagues to Social Media

Last Updated Oct 28, 2009 1:11 PM EDT

How to introduce co-workers to the wonders of social mediaAs so-called "digital natives," younger members of office teams may find themselves in the awkward position of trying to introduce their co-workers to the power and potential of social media. You may be keen to utilize the latest media in your work and think that everyone would win if your team adopted these tools, but at the same time, as a relative newcomer, you don't want to step on any toes. So how do you introduce your clueless co-workers to the wonders of social media without being preachy? Blog Learning Putty from training and development pro Renee Robbins has seven creative suggestions:
  1. Start an education campaign - There are many sources of information available that explain what social media tools are in quick and entertaining ways. Articles from trade publications are incredibly helpful since they are coming from a source that your team may already know and respect. When you find these articles flip the publication open to that page, attach a sticky note saying "thought you would find this interesting," and leave it for them on their desk. Remember to follow up personally to see if they liked the article or had any questions.
  2. Team up with internal and external social media users - Find others like yourself that are interested in the opportunities that social media provides and engage in some thoughtful conversations about how utilizing these tools could impact your organization. Once you have a chance to vocalize your thoughts with people that are supportive of the technology, it will be easier to have similar conversations with those that still haven't seen the light.
  3. Suggest social media solutions - When you are discussion solutions to meet your training needs look for opportunities to add a social media component.
  4. Help stretch the budget by using a "free" option! - Most of the social media tools out there are free. Alright, so not all social media solutions are free, but in these hard economic times spending a few hundred dollars is better than spending hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  5. Take a look at what your competitors are doing - In your searches through those articles from the first bullet point did you find one highlighting your competition? This is a great opportunity to spotlight both the reach of social media and how it can be used in your industry.
  6. Invite your co-workers to your social networks - So they don't know what Linked In is? Then introduce them personally!
  7. Give the gift of social media - With the holidays at hand this is a perfect time to get in the giving mood (even if it does have a bit of a hidden agenda). There are many resources available on the evolution of social media. Present your boss, co-workers, or employees with a copy of the latest book to get their wheels turning.
Have any other approaches worked for you in your efforts to get your colleagues on board with social media?

(Image of proud Luddite by deanj, CC 2.0)

  • Jessica Stillman On Twitter»

    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.