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  • Gilbert Kruidenier

Using Social for Change Management

Visualisation of 8 things to do for sharing on social media like a pro

Freely sharing content is a great way to make (work) friends, connect to interesting people, raise your profile, be an inspiration and give back to the (change) community. The age-old principle of “Give and thou shalt receive” is still very much alive on social media today.

Yesterday, Lena Ross and I did a webinar for Change Management Institute on using social for corporate change and some of the questions/statements we got were along the lines of: “I don’t feel I have anything worthwhile to share” or “What if they don’t like it?” and “Nobody wants to hear what I have to say!” I’ve been there and if you really feel that way, don’t share anything, it’s not like you have to.

But give it some thought. That seminar last month you enjoyed. That article you read last week, that you told three friends about. That item you saw on the news yesterday. Or that story your daughter shared that seemed to have happened in your office at the same time, but with grown-ups? You are surrounded by things that interest others and you could have more to share than you think.

To get you started here’s eight more things you can share on social right now to support a (work) change you’re involved with:

1. An event you’re excited about

Maybe it’s an event or session you are hosting for work that is free for teams to join, like a ‘Lunch and Learn” but even better if it’s one of your friends’ or connections’ events. People especially appreciate the effort you put in and will help you spread the word when you have an event you’re running. It doesn’t even have to be an event you are going to, maybe you can’t go and want others to know it’s on, so they are not missing out like you.

2. Something that surprised you

No one knows everything. Sharing something you learned showcases your interests and makes you look helpful while you are, in fact, being helpful, everybody wins. It’s especially valuable if new research or findings contradict a commonly held belief or misconception. In a change project you often call that myth busting. It’s my favourite pastime on corporate social in the first few weeks of a job to find out what people are saying to then either support their causes with more facts and experiences or provide a better and factual story than the myth they copied into their feed, always leads to good water cooler chats.

3. Your hopes and fears

Sharing your inspirations, goals and/or fears of failure help people understand what you are trying to accomplish or prevent from happening. A very funny thing with that is as soon as people believe your cause is worthy, they’ll start to help you. Never fails. If you post genuinely and consistently about how you are working to make a change to happen, you’ll find yourself surrounded by like-minded souls in no time. I started posting about starting a rebellion and all of a sudden, I had 100 new connections, people who also felt they were alone in thinking something needs to change. All that took was one article…

4. A tool or app you #like

As busy professionals and humans in general, we’re always on the lookout for new and more effective ways to stay organised. Sharing a good experience and most importantly WHY you think it’s such a great tool/app, your audience will surely appreciate that. Your quick endorsement can make the difference between order and chaos in a (small) part of their lives and that’s a pretty good deal for a quick share, right?!

5. Your experiences

This is probably the most sought-after and worthwhile, but also most time-consuming type of sharing. Especially when it resonates with a large group or some very curious people. You can end up spending a lot of time reliving those experiences and explaining how it worked for you. A strange thing with this one is that negative experiences are much more popular than positive ones, as people are trying to prevent that sort of thing happening to them. It’s always good to be honest, but for this one, you have to be prepared to really share it like it was, or you’ll lose credibility points on a very public platform. Still, for me the strongest motivation to share my experiences is to help others not experience my mistake and I never encounter negative responses or ridicule, just many thanks for helping prevent career limiting embarrassments.

6. An idea you are working on

Even when you’re working on a new idea or concept for whatever, use the collective minds of your network to sharpen it, to get free advice and feedback or maybe even inspire others to steal it and make it their own. After all, plagiarism is the biggest compliment. It’s also a great idea to do free market research amongst colleagues for a change initiative you are working on, stick it on Yammer, MS teams, Slack or Chatter labelled as an ‘Experimental thought balloon’ and see what comes back. If you cause a storm, perhaps it’s not the best idea right now, or perhaps it is exactly what needs to happen and now you know for sure. A nice side effect is that if you change it before launch, you show that you listen to feedback, if no change is required, people can claim that they heard of it before already. Winning!

7. A taster of things to come

Sharing a part of your work, just an element or key image can dramatically increase engagement when you launch it in full. People will remember your previous share and have a sense of familiarity with it already. It’s a good way to build rapport and add a bit of value to the community already.

8. Book reviews

My personal favourite. It’s not like people can’t get a review from Goodreads or Amazon, but it saves your followers and connections from going to another platform to get news on things they care about. It also helps to build a reputation for a niche or idea you care about, if that’s what you are going for.

Perhaps you noticed I did not once mention sharing a product you offer (including your services)? I am not a fan. That’s about you helping you or pretending to want to help me, but actually only trying to help you. It’s voted as one of the most annoying things on LinkedIn, aside from blatant self-promotion and ‘Only a genius can solve this’ puzzles. To me sharing is about helping others in small ways, with no other gain to myself than feeling good or getting some appreciation in return.

Give it a try and share your experience in the comments if you feel like it.

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