Social media is a great way to bring your organization closer together. It can be used for communication, collaboration, and meetings. It could save you money and time. What’s not to like about it?
- Understand the company culture. Assuming you’re the leader of your organization, or even an aspiring leader, you have a keen understanding of your corporate culture. Your culture will drive the way your staff uses the online tools. If you tend to have a very private, and closed culture, adoption will be slow. Employees will be apprehensive about communicating for fear of retribution. Make sure the culture allows for open and transparent communication.
- Create internal social networks. Nichols recommends LinkedIn as a great tool for this. You could take it a step further and jump into Yammer or Ning – both great for closed social networks. It reduces email and meetings by allowing quick collaborative communication.
- Share information. This is something Yammer might help with if it’s related to sharing notices and alerts. Nichols recommends developing a DIY wiki for company-related information, articles, and multi-media. You could also use DropBox, a cloud-based storage system that provides secure access to media from all of your devices.
- Encourage participation. Create a sort of suggestion box where employees can submit ideas for projects or processes. Those who may be too shy to speak up in staff meetings will be encouraged to submit there ideas this way. Match the communication channel to the preferences of your teams.
- Use technology and online project management tools. Save travel time and expenses by having meetings online. Nichols suggests using meeting technology such as Skype or Webex. You could also try GoToMeeting or a Google Plus Hangout. Depending on the security level needed and the size of your group, one of these options will work very well. Skype is great for one-to-one calls with video. GoToMeeting is excellent for giving presentations and sharing desktops. Google Plus Hangouts work well for small informal groups.
- Establish a social media policy. This is important. Provide your team with direction. Be sure they know what can and cannot be discussed. Be clear about privacy, confidentiality, and industry compliance issues.
Do you use social media for internal communications in your business? I’d love to hear what works for you and what lessons you’ve learned.
PS. Thanks to Inxpo for the image.