Is there one way to get your entire organization behind Digital Marketing and Social Media?
Obviously, it depends on the culture of the company and the desire to engage and connect more, but one of the more obvious ways to make this happen (that so few people talk about) is in creating something that has a social bent and use it only internally for the first little while. Too many pundits will tell you to step into the pubic realm and start small (yes, I’m one of those pundits), but there might be a better, quicker and a more scalable "win" by starting off on the inside.
Ways to make your company more Social Media savvy from the inside out:
- Share and share alike. Set up some kind of Delicious or Google Bookmarks platform so that people on your team (or even the entire company) can start sharing in and tagging all of the great and relevant content for your industry. You can even choose a specific tag for your company to make it easier for individuals to find.
- Podcast. Instead of boring your peers to death with the standard corporate newsletters (either in print or PDF format), change it up and start creating content (audio or video) and release it internally as an audio or video Podcast. Have people submit their questions for the CEO, interview the person who just started and ask them about what they do and why the joined the company. You also have people submit segments or client testimonials. Use the platform to demonstrate your product or service. There are so many ways to do this and get people excited about being a part of your company.
- Wiki it. Use a wiki for product information or news. Allow your team members to collaborate, share and update the information. You can use a wiki for things like explaining common processes (think HR, etc…) or even as a platform to brainstorm new ideas and trends.
- Private Facebook. Most intranets are nothing more than a simple staff directory/listing. Why not find a software (and there are many) that allows you to create more of an online social network, where your team can not only share more information about who they are and their area of expertise, but they can use it to grow their relationships and connect more (in a more human way)?
The sky is the limit.
It’s amazing how many Marketing professionals think about Social Media and immediately focus on the current bright, shiny object, or how the company can best be positioned in the public’s eye instead of figuring out these many media, tools and platforms by bringing them inside and tinkering with them together as a unit.
What are some of the other interesting ways to use Social Media internally as a means to get people active?
this is a pretty helpful article. thanks.
Excellent strategic advice Mitch. I think it would have the C-suite onside pretty fast. The gains are multiple, including a more connected, self-aware and social media savvy organization primed to connect with customers, clients and peers.
Great suggestion. And, it makes sense to use it to build your sense of team, before taking to the larger community.
Hey Mitch! A nice post to end the work week.
We really like using Flickr to share photos between both our US and Germany office. It’s a great way to start utilizing social media, then convert some of those photos public to show off the company in a different light.
We’re also tagging things via Delicious, but does anyone know of a way to delegate submissions to Delicious? Or is Google Bookmarking a better option?
One last thing, Mitch, I would read your first paragraph again. You might be missing an ‘l’ in there… not sure if you intend to talk about “realm” in that way. 🙂
Have a great weekend!
The benefit is that this can be done super-cheap, with just a couple of people and very limited resources. You’re also able to see uptake in a very different way as you will know the people who are connecting to it and using it.
That is one of the strategic by-products: the team building and culture of sharing. It makes people feel like “insiders”. It is very powerful.
I’m not sure that Google Bookmarks will give you more in terms of that function. While it’s not an option, there must be a way to hack it in terms of creating a tag or individual access?
Let me go and correct my grammar too 😉
Great ideas. An internal wiki is something that I think could benefit any organization. Having as much knowledge in the cloud as possible would mean an easy turnover when someone leaves. It would also make reviewing current processes much easier to see if there’s a smarter way of doing things. Whenever anyone writes down a process, it should go into a company wiki.
It is an incredible way to preserve the tribal knowledge of a company.
Mitch, for organizations 10+ I’d add a micro-blogging platform to the list. Great for sharing relevant information fast and overall group cohesiveness.
I know there is also an internal/Twitter-like platform for this (but the name escapes me). You could also try Status.net for this.
Mitch, You just helped me realize why I did, hmm, let’s say better than average with social media coming out of the gate about 18 months ago. (I dabbled before then but got serious). Internally we’ve shared bookmarks and had a wiki for years in our tiny organization. Makes it easier for my business partner and I as well as employees(when we had them) and contractors to all be on the same page. It also teaches one how to share in a nice a civil way before going out in the big wide world. You Might add to you list things like Google Docs. We get a tremendous amount done on our company in that space. – You always keep me thinking, thank you for that.
I find that more often than not, the more successful companies realize (after the fact) that they had a culture of sharing, and were using collaborative tools/platforms internally. Once it’s a part of the culture, it becomes ever-more obvious how to make it work externally as well.
Awesome article. You just have to look at a company like Dell that have embraced social media from the inside out. Employees are empowered to create twitter accounts with the company name, which in turn has generated substantial revenue.
I’ve just floated the idea with my country GM that we should empower our sales staff to set up their own blogs to share content with their business partners and key clients. After reading this, I will also suggest podcasting.
As you know Mitch, I love the idea of inside out. In my experience most organizations are much more active with social media on the outside. And, being good in the space externally doesn’t always translate back inside. Building strong positive relationships with customers being a higher priority than building them with employees I guess. Lost opportunity on every level. So, thanks for this nudge in the right direction.
Keep in mind, that I was talking about doing things internally: only for the eyes of the employees.
If you make the team excited, they’ll also see the benefit/applications outside of the organization.
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