My personal experience with introducing a social media strategy was only last month. The business owner is a well-liked, ambitious and caring woman who has taken on the project of starting a business on her own. In the middle of a pandemic no less. When we sat down together, I learned that her future and current social media content thus far has been copying everyone else’s mindless posts. Re-posting the memes that someone else posted months ago that she thought other people might like. My challenge was to communicate how a social media account could have the most impact for her future success, branding and what that means, how a social media account tells a story, and how it doesn’t include memes. I presented 3 Instagram pages of people who were doing it well and explained how exactly they were nailing it. The challenge was to impress upon her to forget what others are doing, forget what you think you know, and let’s talk about and design a page that sells your brand. Memes don’t matter, your identity matters. How can you make someone (who obviously has a lot of passion and a lot invested in this company) change their belief or change their mindset?
Change comes in stages. Change first requires forethought and contemplation. She had given some thought to her own social media presence and what she wanted it to be before I even arrived at the meeting. So the creative juices were flowing also dreams of all the infinite possibilities and potentials. I injected myself into her business, (in the nicest way possible – tempting for me since it’s a start-up and would love to create something from the ground up) so having someone step in and give you their version of YOUR business may not have been easy to hear. So, how can I change someone’s mind on something that is so personal?
No matter how you break it down, or how many different examples you give, change is hard because of the emotions that are involved. Some will say change is difficult because you can’t know if all the effort will be worth the outcome (disappointment). Some will say change is difficult because of the lack of information – how can you commit to change if you don’t know any of the details (fear and confusion). Some say change is difficult because if it doesn’t work out like I think it will; I will seem like a fool (vulnerability). Evoke change by removing or negating the emotions that present as an obstacle.
Dig deep – what is the underlying emotion that is preventing change in regards to social media with the business owner, employees or staff? Let’s get them involved! Evoke a sense of pride by profiling key individuals or have them brainstorm ideas for the next social media content. Or, try evoking a sense of comradery between employees by having a group research project for the next posting. Among all the hurdles one may experience in creating and enacting a social media strategy, in my opinion, it’s the human interpersonal dynamic of differing opinions that presents the biggest obstacle.