A lot of discussion around blogging and social media centers around external conversation, but companies would do well to employ these tools internal as well.
I had the privilege of discussing this with Anna Farmery on The Engaging Brand Podcast recently. The most delicious idea from that show came from Anna, an internal linked-in tool.
Internal use of social media doesn’t get the ‘press’ that external efforts get – nor should they, after all – because they aren’t meant for public consumption. Still, they can be a great asset to an organization in several ways:
- It’s the same song: Making sure everyone’s singing the same song. A great internal blogging strategy would share stories across the company landscape as to how ‘the mission’ is being accomplished. These conversations can keep the enthusiasm fires burning bright.
- Eliminate gossip: In a large company (or virtual companies, for that matter), many members of a team can only imagine what goes on in the board room. Imagination of this sort can be a dangerous thing.
- Knock the cubicles down: Many corporations battle enmity between departments. Much of that comes from not knowing anything about the people on "the other side". Internal blogging can help knock down cubicles and develop a sense of team across departments.
- Synchronized Communication: I know a few companies that don’t allow employees to read RSS feeds at work. (HUH?) This includes marketing, research, sales, PR, HR…look – if you don’t trust your team to do productive work at work, you’ve got a problem on your hands that has nothing to do with social media. By allowing your teams to get RSS feeds – they’ll know more in less time. Plus, you won’t have to wait for your team to visit your intranet. Deliver it via RSS.
Other Social Media:
- Wiki: A meeting eliminator. Share and modify documents without the meeting load and email trail.
- Podcasts/Videocasts: These can be a great training tool, especially for virtual teams.
Other ideas worth examining…
- Internal Blog Network: Every employee gets a blog as a ‘workspace’ where they can share ideas.
- Twitter-like app: A ‘what I’m doing now’ type of tool. Someone might jot a message down, "Working on XYZ project – at whiteboard in Conf. Rm 12, bring your ideas"
If your company employs internal social media – make sure you employ it. Don’t treat it like a tool.
Each time a new employee joins your team, your company culture gets modified. Same thing with an internal social media strategy. When you employ one of these tools, you can design the cultural effect it has in your company.
Let’s get to work.