Social media is successful for one main reason, people like interaction and sharing information. Many businesses have a company intranet which they use to share important company information and updates, but what about taking this one step further and creating a company social media hub.
According to a white paper published by APCO Worldwide and Gagen MacDonald (2011):
- 58% of employees would prefer to work for a company that utilizes an internal social media network.
- 60% of employees regularly use social media.
- 61% of employees believe that internal social media makes it easier to collaborate.
- 86% of employees would encourage others to work for a company that utilise an internal social media.
Included within the white paper is a guide to implementing a social hub within your company, covering:
- Prioritize your business objectives
- Map your communication
- Determine your cultural stance
Align for Design
- Identify issues and limitations
- Develop guidelines and metrics
- Align leaders around your goals and limits
- Choose your tools
- Execute with excellence
- Train for social media literacy
Measure and Adjust
- Benchmark and measure your progress
- Keep what works, tweak what doesn’t
Creating a feature rich, easy to use social site for your business has a number of key benefits:
- It encourages interaction within your workforce.
- It allows information to be shared easily by everyone.
- It enforces team spirit.
- Employees can suggest changes and improvements for products and processes.
- It provides a more relaxed atmosphere.
Social networks, when implemented correctly, accepted and used provide an invaluable source of company information, in real time. Emails are great for a direct message, however, being able to view an activity stream of updates from the entire workforce is a window to what is happening from around the organisation, right now.
Information, in the form of documents, images, links and videos, can be shared immediately with groups of employees, or the entire workforce. This information, in whatever form, can then be discussed and commented upon.
Employee achievements can be credited and publicised around the business, offering those involved a much appreciated ‘pat on the back’ for their efforts. This alone increases employee wellbeing and productivity as well as encouraging social interaction within the organisation.
There are potential challenges that should be considered:
- Initial setup can be complicated (but doesn’t have to be)
- Depending on the chosen platform, there can be additional costs involved
- The site needs to be monitored and administered.
- Overuse can lead to lower productivity (however a social hub can also improve productivity if used correctly).
It must be stated that there are challenges with any new company initiative or implementation. As with any project, careful planning and thought regarding your ultimate goals and requirements is the key to a successful roll out of the site. Speaking to employees and management regarding what they would expect from such a resource will enable you to cater for as many requirements as possible, and to prioritise these accordingly.
Features which can be utilised on a company social site are:
- Company-wide announcements.
- Sharing of information, such as links to articles, images, videos and personal achievements.
- Announcements of social events.
- Publicising company achievements such as new clients, product releases and sales targets.
- Welcoming new employees.
- Specific ‘groups’ for departmental discussions.
- Employee activity feeds.
- Email notifications of important information.
- Access from anywhere (if enabled).
Which platform to use to create an internal company social site
The platform on which you choose to build your company social site will depend upon your individual requirements. There are a number of options available: