Graphicast began its social media journey almost one year ago. My personal journey began about a year earlier, but I was a passive participant in the process, looking in and observing from the outside. Although I was somewhat skeptical when I attended a business oriented social media overview given by Kelley-Sue LeBlanc of Aleuromedia, I was very excited by the end of the hour long session, as I saw a great opportunity for Graphicast to expand its message and its influence in our markets via social media. A few weeks later, we hired Kelley-Sue to help us on our journey.
To me, the key to success in using social media is making the leap of faith that sharing information increases your influence and the interest in buying from you. It also, as some fear, reveals information about you to your competitors. So what? They can get this if they want to anyhow, and this downside is a small price to pay for the upside. This is a variation on the same message I have been telling people who work for me. Many of them think that hoarding the knowledge they possess is their key to job security. If they keep it to themselves, their indispensability is preserved. I have tried, with varying degrees of success, to convince them that their indispensability is preserved by sharing their information with the rest of the company. By sharing, they become the “go to” people, the people of influence and the people with the highest value to the company. The others, the hoarders, usually don’t last.
Sharing within the company is one thing. Sharing with the entire world can be a scary thought. However, through the analysis and preparation we did for our social media programs, I recognized that there was much more to gain than to lose. The only way to create influence and become more than the four walls of the building is to try to become a “go to” company to the world. We’re trying. From the activity and comments we’re seeing, I think it’s beginning to happen.