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How To Use Social Media for Internal Communications

We've come a long way since the days of office chain emails and notice boards passive-aggressively warning Tim to stop leaving his dirty mugs by the sink without mentioning his name, and yet, in many office environments, social media isn't utilised anywhere near as much as it could be for internal communication. Here at Songbird, our base of operations is pretty small, internal communications often amount to just raising your voice by a decibel or two, but even we make sure to have social media pages set up to that end.

For larger offices, it's absolutely essential, it's not enough to have a work Skype profile on tick-over during the day, or a work WhatsApp so that one person who seems to be out can keep on constantly trying to rally the troops to their new favourite bar, you have to take advantage of the enormous potential for office relations that social media affords. Below are a few tips for ways to use social media to help keep the moral in your office consistently high.

Improving Proximity Between Staff Members

For some, the gulf between their desk and the managing director's office can seem hopelessly vast. If they have a question, or an idea, the notion that in order to get it into discussion you either have to send an email which will probably get buried, set up a 1-to-1 meeting that probably won't happen for months or wait for the next general meeting and hope you get given a word in edgewise can make the whole thing seem rather futile. Setting up a work Facebook group, for example, can eliminate that barrier, as you can tag the pertinent person, check when they've seen it and even open up a wider discussion. 

That kind of knowledge can only promote the spread of good ideas, as it makes employees feel closer to the upper staff, and enables meetings that are basically eternal, taking place comment by comment on a rolling basis. A workplace should be a free-flowing stream of ideas, rather than them being isolated to a weekly meeting room chinwag in which only a handful of people ever actually get the chance to speak. 

Promoting Social Interaction Outside of Work

As previously mentioned, it's not enough to just use a work WhatsApp to keep up to date on social outings, especially if you work in a big office, in which case the thing often gets completely overwhelmed. Work specific Facebook groups, events and shared albums can make the whole idea of going out with colleagues all the more enticing, as well as making it that much easier to organise a lunchtime trip to the pub, or make sure everyone signs a birthday card. 

Beyond that, if your management has a penchant for staff days/nights out, having Pinterest boards or Instagram profiles dedicated to that can be good for both the staff involved and people observing the company from the outside, since it makes it abundantly clear that not only are the staff well looked after, but they actually get on. 

Maintaining an Informal Atmosphere

It's 2016, offices needn't be sterile, formal environments full of hapless drones with cornflower blue ties anymore. As long as the work gets done, an informal atmosphere isn't just a concession, it's a boon. Social media is excellent for this, since it almost reflexively encourages people to communicate in a relaxed, 'chatty' manner, which can work against any feelings of tension or nervousness between staff members. 

For this to work, social media can't be treated as any kind of mandatory, monitored aspect of work (unless you're actually a social media manager, obviously). Making people feel like they have to do something is the easiest way to make them reluctant to do it, so things like a '1 work related Facebook update per day rule' are heinously bad ideas. If you want your staffers to maintain a consistent presence on the work social media pages, it's on you to make them as interesting and vibrant as possible, work is allowed to be fun.

Open Communication About Project Progress

If you send out mass emails to everyone in your office every time you notch another 10% of work on a project, you are very weird and you're annoying everyone, stop it. That being said, open communication about what you're working on, how far into it you are and any advice or input you might need is an intrinsic aspect of office work. With social media, you have a way of broadcasting that information without bugging anyone who doesn't need to know about it. Once again, group posting is key, as well as separating the office into separate groups based on their areas of expertise, even if they're in different departments.

General progress updates on projects, be they text based or photographic, are also a great way to demonstrate everything that's going on around the office. If everyone is just sat behind a computer, it might not be immediately obvious that what they're actually doing is fascinating. This also has the knock on effect of making everyone abundantly aware of the depth and variety of skillsets in the office, fueling their imaginations for future ideas.

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info: TheSMFGroup.com
How To Use Social Media for Internal Communications Reviewed by Unknown on Thursday, January 21, 2016 Rating: 5

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