Social from the inside out

Jenni Field

As social tools become a staple in the internal communicators toolkit, I’m wondering whether it is something we should use if we don’t use these tools to network already? Would be really interested in people’s views on this – is it the same as you cannot use a magazine if you don’t write one in your spare time or do social tools require a much better understanding?

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8 comments on “Social from the inside out

  1. If you don’t use Social Media outside of work, I personally don’t think you should be anywhere near it inside of the workplace.

    Social Media outside of the workplace is already a clear success, there’s no real reason why someone isn’t on FB, Twitter even G+! So if you’re not using these tools in your spare time, how can you be relied on to introduce and drive them within the company you work for?

    Selling Social Media to senior managers is a difficult job at the best of times, even when you have a real passion for it. If you don’t then you’ve already lost the battle because you don’t believe in the channel.

  2. I believe you should look to use the channels an audience uses regardless of whether you use social media out of work. I think the magazine example is apt. There a multiple skills needed to craft, edit and print a magazine – none of which I probably use in my personal life. But the audience wants the product so I adapt my working skills to provide.

  3. I voted ‘no’ but I feel judgemental. I know communicators who atre strategically involved in the direction of social media usage that don’t use any networks themselves except Facebook for their school friends. I know communicators who are tactically involved with the day-to-day running of social channels who again have no personal interest. The strategy and daily tactics and clear and useful, and objectives are met, although as a heavy user of social systems, I might note that I found their online behaviours lacking in humanity.

  4. I voted no. I belive that unless you actually use a tool you will never understand the many possiblities it offers. Those who don’t use social media in their own lives, but are asked to employ it in the workplace, will not have the skills and knowledge required to move beyond the most trivial updates and polls and incorporate social media tools into their strategic messaging, internal branding, executive visibility and crisis communications efforts.

  5. I voted ‘Yes’ because I don’t believe it’s impossible – but I do believe you will be far more likely to be successful in social media if you know it, believe in it and are passionate about it.

    Different social media channels are used in different ways – we use FaceBook to connect with friends, LinkedIn to make professional contacts and networks… Although the boundaries often blur.
    Meanwhile Twitter is a medium that many people use principally in a professional capacity, as they tweet in and about their area of professional expertise.

    Some people may be a FaceBook fanatic but have never tweeted in their life – so there are different shades of meaning around what is meant by a social media user/expert etc.

    What’s also interesting about this question is the fact that we are talking about internal comms. Why would an organisation choose to conduct internal communications through social media? Not all employees want their working life to ‘intrude’ on their playtime. And some organisations are very protective of their internal messaging. I know hell would freeze over before I could set up a FaceBook group for my organisation’s employees! And I doubt I would get many subscribers anyway – knowing the demographic. But I could see it working in some organisations with a social media savvy workforce and a desire to create or tap into a fun and friendly culture. So in this situation, in order to sound authentic the internal comms person would need to understand the social media tools he/she is using, in order to be credible.

  6. I don’t think it’s possible to use the tools internally without having an understanding and appreciation of their strengths. Like anything, how can you advocate for a tool or service across your organisation without understanding it yourself? Especially because there are likely to be many people more savvy than you in your organisation and you just end up looking dumb. Internal communications=fail.

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