Social Media within the organisation

Okay so we’ve talked a little about how social media can benefit customers and external stakeholders but what about internal stakeholders?

One of the biggest benefits for organisations is the ability to break the lines of communication.  Most organisation have hierarchical or functional structures, but the use of social media will see a flat organisational structure which will give direct access to the top without all the “go between” to get through.  We will see collaboration between different functions of the organisation and social media will not just be limited to the marketing department.

Social media gives the ability for organisations to communicate to all its employees whether it’s through Facebook, Twitter, blogs or forums etc.  They are able to communicate easily, the employees are well-informed, and they have a medium that gives the ability to give feedback, comment and interact.  This whole “interaction” is important as it is part of the other 4C’s mention before.

  • Cooperation – which is getting people to share with others
  • Collaboration – getting people together to work on things
  • Connections which provides connection to and between people and networks.

It may be hard for organisations to get their head around this whole social media in their workplace and adopt social media tools but it is a reality and here to stay. Here is a good  article  about businesses tapping into social media.  For an organisational to stay competitive today it needs to keep up with these technologies.

Social media gives the ability for anyone to communicate their opinions whether bad or good and this could be quite dangerous for organisations, this is why organisations need to be ready to REACT.  On the other hand it also needs cooperation from the employees to adopt and use the tools too.  Check out this article when Coca-Cola’s social experiment when wrong and customer’s started attacking each other and other companies that faced issues when adopting social media that allow customers to share their thoughts and also this article about O2 and its follower of the week experiment.

Have you heard of the porous membrane?  Basically this represents internal conversations and external conversation, x is the membrane that can help separate the conversations if misaligned,  click on the link below for the full description.

The porous membrane: why corporate blogging works.

http://gapingvoid.com/2005/05/09/the-porous-membrane-why-corporate-blogging-works/

So now we’re thinking how is this going to work?  Internal conversations… external conversations… Is this a good mix?  Customers allow to share their thoughts?

Could your staff be damaging your organisation through social media?

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2 thoughts on “Social Media within the organisation

  1. CM says:

    I absolutely agree that different functions of the organisation and social media will not just be limited to the marketing department. But I would suggest your marketing department (or equivalent) is responsible for monitoring any social media activity that mentions your organisation.

    Regardless if a staff member accesses social media during or outside work hours, they are a stakeholder of your business. And anything ANY stakeholder says about your organisation is important. Google alerts is just one way to keep track of web activity mentioning your company. Positive messages can potentially be shared, negative comments need to be responded to immediately – and in a way that repairs the relationship.

    While internal communication via social media sounds ideal, again I would suggest the setup, monitoring and management would need to be handled carefully (and again likely by someone in marketing or the like). For example internal conversations are just that – internal. Social media sways towards very public conversations. Do you wish all of your stakeholders to be aware of internal happenings? I suspect not. Privacy settings, or setup such as a group page (thinking of Facebook) means an employee either needs to ask to join the group, or be sent an invitation. What happens if they don’t accept the invitation? Do they miss out on important internal information?

    Another consideration would be that while many organizations are on board with social media, how many of the senior management are? Does someone else (such as the marketing department) in fact look after the CEO’s twitter feed and Facebook page? In most cases, yes.

    • Jo says:

      I wonder if the marketing department were in charge of monitoring etc it would be a full-time job? Even if it is creating more work the benefits of some of these tools out way this. And yes mostly marketing or PR would probably have a lot to do with what is tweeted, facebook updates, whats in the blog or even writing it…

      Agree, it can be difficult to get employee buy-in in using some of these tools. That is true about senior management, it is important to get their buy-in and lead by example and use the tools too.

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