Social Media and Organisation Communication – A Match Destined To Be Made In Heaven?
Can social media inform organisation and leadership communication? What do you think?
So, last week I wrote about what leaders can learn from content marketing. This week I thought I’d continue on a similar theme and link social media with great leadership and organisation communication.
What springs to mind when you hear Social Media?
Fear? ~ Marketing? ~ Adverts? ~ Gossip? ~ Marriage break-up? ~ Teenagers? ~ Magazine-like Psychometric Quizzes? ~ Inspirational Quotes? ~ Intrusive?
The way forward – embrace it? ~ Great source of information and news? ~ Great for keeping in touch? ~ Great for creating a rapport and building relationships?
So are we as leaders missing a trick with communication and building better relationships within our organisations?
Is SnapChat just for teenagers, or something that we worry about what our children are posting on a daily basis?
Is Facebook just a platform for sharing “too much information” and befriending people we’ve not spoken to in twenty years, who we chat happily to on social media but walk past in the street?
Is Persicope full of trolls who simply sit in a room waiting to insult people who are broadcasting?
What about Blab? Has the business community caught up or is it just for marketing bods?
Is YouTube just for rock stars, celebrities, You’ve Been Framed moments, and instructions on how to add a presentation into video?
Or can we transform leadership and organisation engagement through social media?
How many of you as leaders actively use social media as a communication tool to speak with colleagues, share information, or to engage opinion?
Have you spent a fortune on an intranet? Is it well used and kept up to date?
Do you still rely on email? Do people in your organisation still fall foul of the written word from time to time?
So here are my thoughts! Six reasons why I think social media can support becoming a great leader with great communication!
1. Be a thought leader – embrace change. Demonstrate you are not afraid to try new things. Change is the only constant in our organisations now. Technology is moving so fast it’s hard to keep up. By having the guts to embrace something different, you introduce change as the accepted norm. Share your journey with colleagues via social media – show them your learning – and don’t delete the outtakes, they make you human and accessible.
2. Talking of being accessible – social media makes us incredibly accessible. How many times has your HR Director or Comms person asked you to write a piece on a “day in the life of…” – you at work? How many times have you needed to send an email that could be misinterpreted – was misinterpreted and took longer to untangle the mess and rebuild relationships? Think about how you could show your human side and share your day through SnapChat. You could send a personal message rather than an email through SnapChat. That way you can create rapport and communicate your messages in the way it is intended. You can deepen the conversation to increase engagement in what you have to say. For long messages there’s plenty of video messaging programmes or apps out there. Be personally accessible.
3. Build strong relationships. When people can see and hear you they get a feel for what you’re all about. You are able to create a rapport. What’s to stop you having your own video channel to keep people up to date with what’s going on in the organisation. Remember only 7% of communication is words, 38% tone and 55% body language. When you’re visible people connect with you. They assess whether they share the same values, you create a following that ultimately develops into trust. Trust leads engagement, involvement and following – you build leadership credibility through trust.
4. Use social media as a cultural change platform. Transform leadership communication. If other organisations are still using “accepted” technology and approaches, you lead the way. Just because we have accepted ways of working doesn’t mean we can’t innovate our own communication methods. The action of changing the way we communicate within our organisation transforms culture and becomes who you are as an organisation.
5. Engagement, Involvement, and Learning – Twitter and Facebook have poll facilities whereby you can elicit views and receive input. If you developed a secret facebook group just for your organisation you could run engagement polls, have live video sessions where you launch new developments, seek colleague views and develop short learning forums with live video presentations.
6. Strategy, Business Planning, and Conferencing. Blab, secret Facebook groups, Periscope, all provide the opportunity for live communication and information sharing. If you want to launch a new business plan, discuss strategic changes – why not do it in person as well as sending out documents. A private blab allows you to have the key contributors on screen at the same time whilst the rest of the organisation are informed and your strategy or plan is brought to life. It’s great for consistency and clarity as everyone gets the same message at the same time or within a short time frame. We often find organisations can’t allow all colleagues to participate in conferences or workshops, so volunteers or representation is sought. Periscope, Facebook Live or Blab allows all staff to participate either virtually or in person.
We can’t underestimate the power of accessibility and human interaction in developing trust, engagement, together with driving cultural change. I put a photograph higher up in this article saying:
Has she gone mad or has she got something here?
Maybe it’s unconventional to use social media. I like to think I have a creative approach to the work I do with organisations. But if social media isn’t right for you, I hope this article has got you thinking about new ways to be “human”, “accessible” and to think about how to use communication tools to engage your colleagues, and to build a culture of trust and involvement.
Get your techies onto it if your business can afford it. The benefit of live video streaming is accessibility and immediacy. You can’t beat the human touch in leadership but as leaders we can’t be everywhere at once. Be a leader create immediacy and accessibility by either social media or develop your own systems – change your culture!
I love to talk about business change, cultural development, and leadership. Give me a call or drop me an email. I’d love to help you and your organisation improve engagement.