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Still Feeling Reluctant to Adopt a Social Media Strategy? Please Think Again

I attended one industry session about social media in this year’s I-CHRIE Conference. Four industry professionals from White Lodging, Hyatt, Sodexo, and Marriott discussed their experience of using social media to boost bottom line.

Their presentation focused on the “big four” tools --- Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and blogs. The content was very similar to the information presented by those event management and human resource management professionals at the Big Event Show and the SHRM Conference. What surprised me in the CHRIE Conference is I still felt the reluctance of adopting social media by the audience.

One voice I heard is “it takes too much time to manage e-mails already; I don’t have time for social media.” I can certainly relate to that because many CHRIE members are college professors and graduate students. Research and teaching have become their top priorities. However, my question is: why can’t college professors use social media tools to enhance teaching and help answer the research questions about social media that are raised by the industry? Researchers are encouraged to conduct “cutting edge” research that has strong practical implications. If they do not understand social media, how can they make significant practical contributions and make any impact? Here, I am not trying to push everyone to do research on social media, but at least, we need to speak the “language” that the industry uses. Social media has become very important even in academia. For tips of how to better manage your time when using social media, please visit my previous discussion of Tactics that Prevent Us from Wasting Time on Social Media

The second reluctant voice is about protecting the “valuable” internal information within an organization. I understand that. My questions are: how well can we control others or the information being shared? Why can’t we share valuable information with others? Good news is supposed to be shared with others, right? If we don’t tell, will others keep our “secrets”? In the Web 2.0 age, people “communicate” with each other at any time. Rather than “protecting” the information, can you reach out and encourage people to share the information we want them to share?

I am a hospitality professional. Yet, I read the news articles from The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Inc.com more often than Hotel-Online.com. On August 2, Inc.com just launched a more interactive tool called “AskInc,” encouraging readers to ask questions. Hotel-Online.com has very good hospitality articles, but it does not link with any social media tools. Even if I find some useful information from Hotel-Online.com, how can I share with others? My point is people and companies need to respond to the changes of how people communicate and become more proactive in managing their online reputations. Having a social media presence will allow the stakeholders interact with each other and share more information. I believe the future belongs to those who are willing to share. For more discussion about managing your online reputation, please visit Video from FoxNews.com: Managing Your Online Reputation

If you still feel reluctant to social media, please share your concerns with us. Otherwise, please share your great experience of using social media.

References:
Picture was downloaded from: http://tinyurl.com/linchikwok08052010P

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