The chance of coming down with a virus depends on a number of things
- how many people are exposing you to it
- whether you have seen it before
- how much energy is put into fighting it
Social media infects companies in the same way. If many of the company's employees and decision makers have used Facebook, Twitter, a blog or a wiki, they are more likely to understand the benefits. If the first time a company hears about social media is when the marketing team puts out a project plan, they are likely to resist. If the company culture is about fighting new ideas, it will be an uphill battle.
So, how do you get your company to embrace social media? Don't start big, start small. Start by using it personally. Get on Facebook or Twitter or read great industry blogs. Tell others about the benefits they might personally receive from using these media. Do a search on Google, Facebook or Twitter for your company name or your brands. You will find where your customers are already talking about you. Join in on those conversations. Show your co-workers what you are doing and maybe one or two will join you. Like a real virus, the benefits of social media will begin to catch on in the people around you. At a certain point, enough of the company will be involved and it will "catch".
Has your company caught the virus? Tell us your story in the comments below.