Many people are of the opinion that if a business installs social media tools (Web / intranet 2.0) that staff will naturally start using it. However, these people fail to see that getting people to use social media tools requires a significant change management effort. In fact, installing the tools in the easy part, getting people to use them is the challenge. Without a change management plan, there is a very good that any social media initiative will never get far off the ground.

So what does the change management plan need to include?

  1. Executive-level sponsorship — make sure any executives are on-board with the initiative and promoting the tools through conversation and active participation.
  2. Communication plan — getting employees to buy-in to Web 2.0 requires a significant amount of communication. Utilize any mediums available to promote the tools and the benefits they bring to an organization.
  3. Engaging content — conversations should be relevant to employees and should draw them into the online community.
  4. Governance model — social media tools require some sort of governance model both at the strategic and operation levels.
  5. Policy — employees need to know the rules for using the social media tools. A social media policy should explicitly define what employees can and cannot do within the environment.

[awsbullet:christopher hitchens]