As internal social media has evolved from shiny new communication toy to established internal communication tool, the CEC research team has been right there thinking about the major challenges to implementing and sustaining use of the platforms. But in addition to the official resources, like Sabre’s employee connection center and MITRE’s peer learning platform, a constant stream of informal conversation and collaboration has been taking place among members on CEC’s Employee Communications Forum and Intranets Working Group.
So today we’re taking a look at the top questions and answers on internal social media from your peers, by your peers. And a big thank you to those who participate in our very active Discussions community!
Question 1: How do we get executives and leaders to post on our internal social media channels?
I spent time educating my executive to set expectations. For example, I told her that there are significant risks involved, and it’s likely things could get “messy” since that’s the nature of social media. I also set guidelines for frequency of posting content that she could commit to to make sure this effort wasn’t a “flash in the pan.”” –Communications Project Manager, Utilities
“Don’t aim too high, just keep it totally natural. The best CEO blogs I’ve seen will mix quick regular touch-bases to say which country they’re in or who they’re meeting (e.g., “Hong Kong today to see a customer about XXX. Can’t believe how hot it is!” with less regular, longer musings (e.g., reflecting on how a piece in the news impacts on our employees in that location; or how the theme from a conference has got them thinking).” –Senior Internal Communications Manager
“THE KEY: I became BFFs with a person in (the executive’s) office who is key to prompting new social media efforts. She has the VP’s ear and calendar visibility, so she can gently suggest topics and calendar items that lend themselves to a blog entry or status update. This connection has been invaluable.” –Communications Project Manager, Utilities
Question 2: In which internal social media platforms should we invest?
At our company we use Yammer for our internal collaboration. It has grown virally to include about 5,000 employees. … Collaboration via internal social media, while not as defined as it should be, is seen as a natural progression in our company and we will continue to work on it.” –Senior Executive, Fortune 500
“A Facebook-style tool could certainly help people find like-minded individuals across a large organization, create flexible groups to share ideas around topics and challenges, quickly identify thought leaders, and minimize duplication.” –Online Marketing Manager EMEA, Health Products & Services
Question 3: How do we get Legal, HR, and executives to sign off on internal social media?
What’s typical to most is fear of the unknown, especially the loss of control implied, so you must attack that fear by demonstrating that you know from other people’s experience what’s going to happen, and that you have mitigation in place.” –Group Internal Engagement Manager
“Social media helps you get real-time access to employee opinion as you don’t have to wait for the survey, focus group, or water cooler chat to find out what’s on people’s minds. Negative or critical comments will happen and are opportunities to more proactively address issues. If one person posts a negative comment, there are probably more people thinking the same thing.” –Manager Internal Communications
“You can provide education and job aides to help employees understand behavior and expectations in online world. Every company has procedures in place to govern serious breaches of corporate policies. Online behavior is regulated by those same policies. (FYI: this happened to me twice out of 54,000 active users…ever).” –Manager Internal Communications
CEC Related Resources:
- Peer Learning Platform (The MITRE Corporation)
- Principles for Peer Sharing and Learning
- Customizable Business Case for Internal Social Media
CEC Related Blog Posts: