Apr 15 2009
Most organizations have great trepidation about adopting social media. Beyond the trial projects in the communications (or marketing or PR) department, going beyond the silo and allowing widespread access to stakeholders can be an intimidating endeavor (bicycle image by laffy4k). Some of the more common objections are:
Here are some easy tasks to encourage social media adoption across the organization, while at the same time not requiring the enterprise to incur major responsibility or shift policies. Old school social media wonks will smile when they see some familiar tasks on the list.
1) Communicate using social networks. In reality, social media represents a new form of communication. For example email became an easier way to send a letter or fax. Encourage employees to communicate with the external world (such as members of the media or sales prospects), not via email, but through social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. This forces them online, and at the same time, simply replaces a task that’s already being done with another tool, and one that’s free…
2) Set up an internal blog or wiki to share links. You know that guy, the one who emails links to everyone? Well, it’s likely that you have some sort of enterprise software or can set up a free account on WetPaint or Ning that will allow employees to log into a closed network and share links. So set it up, and ask employees to share resources on the internal social wiki, blog or network instead of email everyone. It will actually increase productivity for those not clicking through, and provide a means of discussion for those who do, and a historical record/bookmark for the link.
3) Use an internal blog for project management. If you have a far flung team across several offices use a private/internal blog to provide updates on progress and solicit feedback. Again, this is another activity that’s usually done via email and Word, so you are not requiring new work, just changing the way it is delivered. You can also use a tool like Basecamp for filesharing.
4) Think people are tweeting or Facebooking during work? Some enterprises get in a real tizzy about this. But maybe instead of policing this, the right approach is to encourage microblogging across the organization with Yammer! Some companies let teams use IM or email to electronically chatter, too. Again, this is another way to harness that activity and build an enterprise wide conversation.
5) Recruit through social media. Yes, it’s a time when layoffs are predominant. At the same time, companies still have to replace critical positions. LinkedIn has always been a primary recruiting tool. Other networks like Facebook can work, too. And if social media is a skill set a company needs to embrace, what better way to do that then hire people already using the tools?
What would you add to the list?