Companies of all sizes are jumping on the social media bandwagon for a good reason. The engagement and conversations taking place are something that just was not possible a few years ago.
But, there are internal challenges and barriers many small, medium and large corporations face while implementing a social listening and social strategy. Once you get sign off from the executive, compliance and HR teams, the last barrier is usually the corporate IT Department.
But you ask, “Why does the IT Department even care about the company’s Social campaign?” The answer involves: fear, risk and the unknown. First, IT fears that your strategy and platform will create more work, it may conflict with other systems and it will eat up resources that are already stretched very thin. Second, IT wants to reduce risk whenever possible (maintain uptime, keep people productive and insure stability). Third, IT is not a fan of the unknown. IT is usually tapped by the compliance department to make sure the monitoring systems are in place and working. When something goes wrong with a platform, tool or archiving, IT will need to pick up the pieces and take the hit. Also, given the real-time nature of social media, any down time will be critical.
To ease the concerns of your IT leaders, partner with them early on and make it a collaborative project. Remember, IT is in the business of customer service and solving problems. Ask them about social media. They probably have some great ideas.