Gaining Buy-in

I will be working to create a social media strategy for the Health Promotion & Human Development department at UWSP. The arguments below are true examples of the arguments raised by faculty and staff within our department. We have discussed the topic on more than a few occasions during department meetings and due primarily to the objections and less than enthusiastic comments by faculty and staff, our social media efforts have been minimal and dismal.

1. Who is invited to the social media strategy presentation?

I would invite the unit coordinators from each of our three majors as well as our department chair, CPS dean, academic associate as well as several students from each major and classification (freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior).

2. Social Media is a passing phase and therefore not worth our efforts.

I would use statistical data to demonstrate that social media is not a passing phase. Examples of the data I would use include:
• 87 percent of U.S. adults who go online say they have used some form of social media in 2012.
• Facebook captures 54 percent of U.S. Internet users.
• Users collectively spend more than 700 billion minutes (1.3 million years) per month on Facebook.
• 74 percent of social network users send messages to their friends as part of their daily routines.
• 87 percent of parents of teenagers are online.
• 96 percent of Generation Y-ers participate in social media.

http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2012/09/01/social-media-a-passing-fad

Another interesting approach would be to begin the meeting by distributing a short questionnaire with simple questions regarding the attendees’ use of social media. Examples of the questions I would use:

Do you have a Facebook account?
In the last 2 weeks have you shopped online?
How many text messages have you sent in the last 24 hours?
Do you own an iPad or tablet? Do you own a smartphone?

3.What if someone within our department leaks something private or inaccurate?

Posting privileges will be granted to a few people so we will have better control over what is being posted. We also will provide training and materials to those we designate to post that will clearly outline the parameters of what can be said and not said on social media. Additionally, our social media policy will clearly state what we will allow to be posted.

4.Letting faculty, staff, and student workers post on social media platforms will open us up to lawsuits.

Again, we will create a solid social media policy that will protect us from lawsuits by clearly outlining what can and cannot be said on social media. We will work with professionals, including attorneys familiar with social media law, and create a policy that ensures we have addressed all aspects of liability and is written in common language.

We will limit the number of individuals that will post by giving posting privileges to a select number of student employees, faculty and staff who have been trained and understand our social media policy.

5. Our students don’t want to talk to us on social media. How are we supposed to talk to them and engage them?

We will find out what our students want from us and respond to that need. We will ask students what would be beneficial for them to know via social media and the platforms they would prefer we use. We will listen to what are students tell us and get a better understanding of the type of information they would like us to communicate via social media.

We will also form a committee of students whose objective will be to determine how to market to prospective high school students via social media. This committee will also consist of two faculty/staff members.

6. I have too much work to do the way it is and I refuse to have to learn how to use Facebook or Twitter. We’ll have to hire someone to do this and there is no money for that.
I would start the presentation by saying that we will not be asking anyone to learn to use Facebook or Twitter who does not want to learn, nor will we require anyone to start using social media during or after work hours.
I would also give a short tutorial on the tools available for social media to organize and distribute messages on a scheduled basis. Examples I would use include HootSuite and TweetDeck. I would demonstrate how these tools work and the efficiency they provide.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi Lori,
    First, the detail you gave in how you will present your buy-in presentation is awesome.

    You provided a lot of detail in how you will address each concern. Let’s not call them arguments, but concerns. Why? You will address known or perceived concerns before they become arguments and delay the presentation.

    Your responses are well thought out. You’ve left anything personal out. Good for you. Your responses are staying to the point and you are addressing the core of the concern. I would suggest addressing these concerns at the beginning of your presentation. You will be amazed that by the time you address the concerns, you have already presented the beginnings of your social media strategy.

    Also, I would suggest one more thing that might help. Don’t create a committee with students to “see what they want to know.” You will have a much better grasp on what they are “talking about and sharing with each other” by doing a Twitter search on your school name, department name, curriculum name, etc. You can even follow hashtags they have already created. By doing this you will have a very clear snapshot of not only what they are sharing with each other, but what they want you to share with them.

    So again, great job lady! Great responses to address concerns before they become arguments.

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