Internal Social Media: Embracing the Benefits
Ever snuck onto Facebook or Twitter at work? Stop sneaking! Tell your employer social media should be used MORE at work.
Social media has gotten the attention of company employees and their management alike. In response to the growing number of social media users, many employers have developed policies restricting social media use at the work place. Leaders need to realize that people are social. No policy will stop conversation, nor should it. Social media technologies offer a unique platform for communication and interaction on many levels. Rather than trying to impede this communication, more businesses should embrace the opportunities that the internal use of social media technologies present.
Some employers have already recognized the benefits of this kind of policy shift. Those who have adopted these technologies and employed them successfully to better connect their internal efforts in turn have reaped the benefits of this approach. These companies have done better in terms of market share, profitability, and market leadership when compared with those organizations that have not fully integrated internal networking.
Leadership in business needs to acknowledge and take the initiative to harness this technology’s power corporate potential. Using networking sites to recruitment and marketing campaigns is not a new tactic, but today many companies are fielding their own social media networks to focus on relevant business communication efforts. . Leaders can use this type of network as a platform to release broad memos or hold meetings with offices from various locations simultaneously.
One option for companies is Microsoft’s program SharePoint, which enables organizations to set up their own networking site for information sharing and communications:
Other than networking, internal organizational use of social media platforms like Wikis can give a platform for highly efficient virtual collaboration in cross-functional projects. Internal blogs, discussion boards, and YouTube channels encourage knowledge sharing and comprehensive conversations from anywhere in the world. These digital platforms can provide for collaborative co-design and co-development through open-innovation processes.
Incorporating social media into an organizations communication structure can be a complex process and will certainly pose its challenges in order to avoid failure. With a well established strategy, organizational leaders have a valuable opportunity to engage their employees as well as foster collaboration and knowledge sharing. Organizations interested in harnessing the potential for social media tools internally also appeal and adapt to the growing available workforce of recent college graduates who are members of the tech savvy Generation Y.