A business can act and behave much like the human body. It has many parts that are interconnected and rely on each other. In a body, if the brain says something and the hands do something else, there can be real problems. For a business, it’s just as important to ensure every part of your enterprise is kept informed, talks to each other and works together cohesively.
Implementing an effective enterprise social media strategy can help bring everyone together, empower employees and build deeper relationships. It can increase levels of collaboration throughout many different areas and communicate the value and goals successfully across your organisation.
There are plenty of enterprise social networking (ESN) software packages available that deliver social media capabilities adapted for workplace collaboration. Offering a wide range of features, like employee profiles, news and activity streams, microblogging and document sharing, they’ve become an invaluable ‘must-have’ in many enterprises.
So where do you start? Before considering the tech side of things, it really pays to understand who’ll be using the network and, more specifically, what you hope to get out of implementing an ESN.
Get to know your audience
Like any communication plan, the best place to start is to understand your audience. It’s going to be pretty hard engaging with someone if you don’t know what makes them tick. Understanding their point of view is critical before you even start to think of their technology requirements, so get to know their goals, roles and what’s keeping them up at night from a work perspective? Taking the time to fully understand what your audience cares about will help you build social media engagement strategies that will resonate more with them.
How your audience sees you
Discovering their perspective is just the beginning. It also pays to learn how your audience views your organisation. How do they feel about it? Will they be willing and open to engage with you? Will past history come into play and affect their view? Importantly, try to ascertain the current level of trust in your organisation. This will provide your starting point to achieving a stronger, more collaborative relationship.
Organisational engagement is everyone’s responsibility. When everyone is on board and included in the plan, the result is consistent messaging that effectively communicates your values, builds on your brand, and fosters better teamwork. By connecting your employees, you’ll create a powerful network with greater potential than your corporate blog and official social media feeds.
Train and provide guidelines
While everyone is different within your business and has their own way of expressing themselves, providing training, as well as clear guidelines and policies on usage will be money well spent. Letting them know there are plenty of opportunities to join the social conversation will also help encourage them to become better ambassadors for your brand.
What’s in it for them
When developing your messages, always try to consider who you’ll be talking to and what you’d like them to feel or do after reading the message. Whether they’re formal announcements (outages, product launches, etc.) or more casual interactions (surveys, social club activities, etc.), the most effective communications deliver the desired outcome for your audience clearly and quickly. Be succinct and to the point.
Social media has well and truly changed the way businesses and their audiences engage with each other. It’s now such a huge part of our everyday lives, successfully delivering greater collaboration and engagement for global causes and issues. With a little planning, you can bring this type of engagement into your organisation to help everyone work together more effectively.
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