Are Pirates Running Your Social Media?

088/365 Bob's alive!?!

Arrrr! Ahoy Mateys.

We be here to take over th’ seven seas. We want ye gold. We want ye social media engagement. ‘Tis better to do ‘n ask fer forgiveness than wait fer ye approval.

Translation:

Hello social media friends, followers and connections! We don’t care about unspoken, traditional, bureaucratic practices and procedures. We are here to engage with you in social media. We believe it’s better to engage with you and ask for forgiveness than wait for corporate approval to use social media.

Pirates Run Amok Or Acting As Fire Starters?

Pirates go against the grain. They focus on the goal. They could care less about organizational bureaucracy and unspoken policies. They are passionate about conquering the world.

And they just might be running your current social media program!

Chris Brogan talked about pirates running social media in 2008. As we head to the close of one year and the start of another, I’m surprised to find some organizations still ignoring social media.

Recently I was at a conference for meeting professionals. Shockingly, some participants’ employers would not allow them to use social media to market or engage with prospects and customers.

These meeting professionals were acting like renegade pirates on a mission for good. They were using social media without approval.

Social Media Pirate Ninjas

Chris Penn responded to Brogan’s social media pirates post stating that organizations actually need social media ninja pirates. Penn says that ninja battles focus on influence, being proactive (stopping problems before they became problems), stealth, espionage (intelligence gathering), pragmatism and persuasion using multipliers.

He believes that organizations need social media ninja pirates because the world is changing too fast. If you wait to use social media until you create a policy and get it approved by a board or committee, your competition will run over you. Eventually, you’ll lose because you wavered trying to follow outdated decision making models.

So what’s an organization to do? Shut down the pirates and throw them behind bars? Or observe and learn from them?

Dealing With Social Media Pirates And Ninjas

Pirates and ninja pirates know what they are doing. They already know more than their employers because they’ve been sailing the social media seas.

Employers, if you react with panic to your pirates, you’re sure to set your pirate ship ablaze. Your fear will unnerve the pirate gang. It will interrupt the way the pirates have been communicating to your customers. Your horror will create calamity as the tension and resentment rises when none previously existed.

These pirates answer the phone and respond to email without your micromanagement. Let them respond in social media as well.

Ultimately, you want to respect the social media ninja pirates and invite them to the table. Ask them to report on the intelligence they’ve gathered and how they can help you win more customers. Think about funding the pirates and set them out on new missions aligned with your business strategy. Get them to help you build your fleet and create a ninja pirate playbook on what works.

Employers, you can waste your time fighting the pirates or partner with them as you sail new seas.

What are some other positive ways that employees using social media are like ninjas and pirates? Should organizations have centralized or decentralized social media programs?

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