CLICK – IABC Philadelphia e-newsletter – October 2009

Internal Interactivity

Adapted from a blog by Lee Aase

Using social media as an internal communications tool is gaining in popularity.

Here are some tips for success:

  1. Enable your employees and be patient – create an environment that allow users to better collaborate via multiple modalities, across time zones, organizational barriers, skill sets, know each other professionally and socially, know each other’s skills and expertise.
  2. Integrate your tools – look for integrated toolsets. [The tools are changing quickly, so be prepared to use new tools as they become available. Yesterday’s flip camera is yesterday’s camera.]
  3. Be sensitive to culture change – be sensitive to generational acceptance and norms, country cultures; incorporate storytelling and cultural sharing; allow for human interest and encourage employee participation and generation of content.
  4. Constant communication – campaigns to help with adoption; show leadership modeling and permission; define usage policies; provide education.
  5. Know when you are risking too much – connect employees without creating chaos; define free-form sandboxes and focused work projects.
  6. Ensure privacy – define the line between work and play; socializing and work.
  7. Protect and secure your assets – ensure internal data is safe; use tools that are well-tested from credible vendors.
  8. Develop fair policies, not fluffy ones – govern use without boxing in innovation; allow for play but maintain values of company along the way.
  9. Implement with a credible vendor – work with a credible vendor to select and implement for your specific organization. [If you do social media on your own, start with something safe, simple, and tested.]

David Kligman, from the California State Automobile Association (AAA), offers these insights about its intranet newsletter aimed at 12,000 employees. They’ve had over 5,000 feedback comments so far. It cost them about $3,500 in employee time in getting this project implemented.

David’s advice based on his experience:

  • Don’t make it anonymous, make sure there is accountability (there are other opportunities for anonymity such as employee surveys)
  • Don’t leave questions hanging. Find someone who can answer.
  • Don’t let IT overcomplicate things. Create easy sign-in process. Monitor but don’t obsess. Get your communications team involved. Include sidebars with questions to prompt employee feedback.
  • Let conversations run their course (even the critical ones). Spread the word that it’s safe to say what you think (counsel executives.).
  • Send articles to execs as a heads up. Jump into conversation if needed. When responding, thank employees. Don’t be defensive. Don’t reprimand employees for speaking out.

For most companies, I think it’s much better to go for small wins. You can worry later about integrating everything later if necessary.  But if you’re an IBM with lots of experience with these tools, now may be the time to integrate.

Lee Aase Mayo is Manager for Syndications and Social Media for the Mayo Clinic.  Under his guidance, Mayo has achieved significant success in reaching out through social media. Aase has presented all over the US, including for Ragan Communications. The views he expresses here are his own, and do not represent those of Mayo Clinic. Click! note: In his spare time, Lee is the Chancellor of SMUG, Social Media University, Global.


Why Communicators must be Competent in Social Media


How Business is Adopting Social Media Tools

Social media is changing the way businesses are connecting with both internal and external customers, but which social media tools are the most popular?

According to social media research from E Tailing Group, the answer is:

  • Facebook fan pages (86 percent);
  • Twitter publishing (65 percent);
  • customer reviews (55 percent);
  • blogs (55 percent); and
  • viral videos (50 percent).

“However, when asked which tools lead in terms of generating the greatest increase in sales, respondents ranked customer reviews as the most effective with 78 percent of 100 responses ranking it as number one.”

And the main reasons for the social media strategies?

  • greater customer engagement;
  • increasing brand loyalty; and
  • mobilizing advocates to drive word-of-mouth.

Anna Farmery is a popular speaker on areas such as social media, personal and employer branding, and leadership. She is an energetic speaker, recently described as “a ball of energy and crammed packed full of ideas”.


Your Name in Print!

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Click! welcomes your articles, news, updates, comments, and ideas.  Please send your news and articles, as Word docs or pdfs. Case studies must be send as pdfs. Send to Amy Blake.

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