Has rational ignorance impacted your organization’s social media activity yet? Rational ignorance is the decision not to become more informed about something because the perceived cost of the additional intelligence — in terms of both effort and expense — is more than the expected return on the knowledge gained.
It kicks in for most of us when we believe we have reached the point of diminishing returns in relation to the value of acquiring additional insight. More than likely, your organization started its social media journey with great excitement and a willingness to invest and learn. Now that the honeymoon is over, many on your staff were caught off guard by the new Twitter profile, and it’s been months since they’ve shared an update on LinkedIn.
The concept of rational ignorance, while popping up on a daily basis for most of us, is particularly consequential to a social media strategy because the social media ecosystem is still evolving at a rapid pace. In short, we now live in an age when the most important marketing skill set is the ability to keep our social marketing knowledge relevant and up-to-date. Yes, as the saying goes, there was a time. And indeed, there was a time when knowledge of the 4 P’s of marketing – product, place, price, and promotion — was a sound, long-term investment. The marketing mix seemed straight forward and predictable. But that was then and this is now.
How do you keep rational ignorance from infecting your marketing team? Here are three tips I use to create a learning environment and keep our social media activity focused:
Build a strong shared vision about social media. Genuine caring about a shared vision is rooted in personal visions. I spend a great deal of time helping my team build and nurture an even stronger vision of the personal branding benefits of social media — and how those personal visions join to create our shared vision.
Declare my training support. Training is one of the most important ways for a marketing team to keep their social media skills up to date. I continually remind my team how important training is to me and personally conduct meetings to hone our social media process and technology skills.
Enrollment, not selling. I’ll have to admit that I’m a salesperson at heart. That means I have a tendency to try to “convince” my audience of the benefits of a vision. As I focus on vision and training with my team I sometimes need to make sure I turn down my need to persuade in order to let them have time to develop their own sense of vision.
Is a focus on training worth the effort?
“The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave, is not training them and having them stay.” ~ Henry Ford