Today, communication is not always face-to-face, by letter, or even by phone or e-mail. Today, social media has become one of the key tools of communication for pleasure and business. If you are looking for the best ways to drive employee communication within your organization, social media could be the key you need.
Using Social Media Directly for Employee Communication
You may avoid using social media in the workplace because you think it is unprofessional or not as effective as so-called traditional means of communication. However, times change. If your employees are using Facebook and Twitter, there is no reason why you should not be using it as a means to stay in touch with these staff members. However, like any tool, social media must be wielded properly for the best results. Consider these tips as you utilize Facebook, Twitter, and the other social media platforms.
- THINK BEYOND FACEBOOK. Social media can mean Facebook and Twitter, but it can also include blogs, microblogs, Instagram, Pinterest, forums, and other websites. These specialty social media tools can enable more precise types of communication.
- DON’T LET SOCIAL MEDIA TAKE OVER. While social media is a great tool, it’s not the only tool. Make sure you arrange time for face-to-face meetings and phone calls too. Some companies institute certain days where employees cannot use social communication tools on the job.
- USE TOOLS TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITIES. Most social media sites include tools for collaboration, chatting, and other forms of communication. Remember that these sites can be used for more than sharing cat pictures.
- SOCIAL MEDIA BUILDS ENGAGEMENT. While you may not be able to get your employees to read an interesting and informative article by the water cooler, you can get them to read it if you share it on Facebook. Social media is highly engaging—take advantage of this.
Social Media Inspiration for Other Forms of Employee Communication
With social media’s explosion into the world, things have changed. Unfortunately, sometimes social media takes the blame and the good things are often overlooked. As you communicate with your employees in other ways (face to face, by phone, or using the written word), remember three ways that social media does help communication and take inspiration from this.
- SOCIAL MEDIA ENCOURAGES FASTER DECISION MAKING. With information and communication happening at lightning fast speeds, social media inspires faster decision making—in all forms of contact.
- SOCIAL MEDIA ENCOURAGES COLLABORATION. With social media tools, collaborating on projects is easier than ever before. Don’t let those collaborations stop once you go offline; take the skills you learn and use them throughout your organization.
- SOCIAL MEDIA INSPIRES RECOGNITION. In social media, there is always a form of recognition. Why not bring back the “Employee of the Month” or other forms of recognition to make your employees feel good about themselves and open up new lines of communication.
As you can see, social media has made a big impact on all forms of communication within the workplace. Understanding when to use these techniques and when not to use them is the key to successfully remaining in touch with what is happening in the workplace. The most important thing to keep in mind with social media is to remember that what works today may not work tomorrow. Social media is a cutting edge technology, so it requires you to be willing to put in some effort to make communication work—especially when you are utilizing it for something as important as communicating with your employees.
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