Social Media Development Path

The use of social media in an organization demands an open mindset. The old working culture need to replaced with a culture of openness, sharing and empowerment if the organization wants to use social media in a beneficial way. There is no point in embedding the old habits and approaches to the social media services.

Already in 2000, Michael J. Earl said that:

“Business processes need to be re-engineered because they are not longer appropriate for the new electronic integrated channels.”

Organization cultures and habits are slow to change. How to make that shift happen?

I have noticed that personal use of social media and good experiences from it will encourage the organizational social media use. When people see the possibilities of Facebook in free-time, it’s easy to use it also when working. In some cases, it may be vice versa: the organizational use of social media will encourage people to use social media services for personal use.

 Next month our family will be busy with Kvarken Games, a local swimming competition for young people. Our daughter will swim there, while we parents will work as volunteers for arranging the competition. It is not easy to coordinate a happening as big as this where all the people work voluntarily. Thanks to social media services, the coordination is now simpler than ever.

Doodle is a service for finding a date for a meeting, but it can also be used to coordinate the shifts at swimming competition. Another hobby of our kids is Finnish baseball, and I am one the coaches. Moms and dads of a baseball team were suggested to use a closed Yammer group for internal communication within the group of parents. It was fun – like Facebook – and it was easier than communicating with e-mail. And all the messages were in a common “data warehouse” in Yammer where everyone could find all the information afterwards, and there was no need to store messages in the folders of own computer anymore.

From this, the distance to the internal use of social media services is not long. The bigger the organization, the greater the advantages of social media are in internal use. In some organizations, internal use of social media services could replace some of the e-mail messages within the organization. Not bad! Sometimes organizations are surprised with the issues the internal social media use brings with it: a better communication culture, employees like each other’s comments, they support each other and cheer on. There are solutions like xTune for finding expertise in an own organization and even beyond organizational boundaries. In several cases, the use of social media inside the organization will lead to a bigger transparency, too.

And when you have good experiences from personal use of social media and organizational use of social media within an organization, the use of social media with customer will not be frightening anymore. When you are familiar with Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, it is easy to use it for dialogue with customers and other target groups.

Could you suggest your group of parents, hobby, association or club to try social media services in internal communication? Doodle, Yammer and Facebook are all free, some time it will take from you but it will be worth of it!

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