Confused about the myriad social media tools and platforms on the market? Eva-Maria provides her tips for using three of the most popular for creating employee groups.
The last option, which I recommend for companies is the ‘Invite-Only’ Privacy Setting. This means your Group ‘exists’ i.e. Facebook users and your staff can search for it by name, and see it exists, but they cannot see any information in the group. The way to become involved in the group, Facebook users must ‘ask’ to join the Group, and their membership must be approved by one of the Administrators set up on the Group page. By keeping it ‘Invite-Only’, you are protecting company information, and the Administrator’s time is only limited to accepting Group requests by checking that the person is actually a company employee.
If you find that the majority of your employees prefer Twitter as a key means of communication and Social Media involvement, you can set up a private group on Twitter through an Application called ‘Group Tweet’. Group Tweet allows your staff to ‘Tweet’ into the group with ideas, feedback, etc. from either their personal accounts, or using the Group Tweet function, and see what others are saying in the Group. This is a great tool for real-time updating and communication to happen, short of getting everyone on the phone together.
Just like Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups have varying Privacy Settings, that you can set to be Public, Invite-Only or Private. Setting up a LinkedIn Group is great if you have many staff members wanting to join in with multiple discussions, as every discussion is in the form of a blog post, with room for comments from users.
The Group also has room for any member to post, or start a discussion. As opposed to a Facebook group, this is great because while Facebook Groups’ updates are shown in chronological order by latest comments, LinkedIn Groups show the actual discussions in chronological order. This means users can see the latest topics being discussed, as opposed to a Facebook Group, which could push an update made last week to the top of the Group’s Notifications if a user comments on it today.
Groups also have room for employees to not only post their own discussion topics, but also post notices that are in discussion format but may not be directly work-related.
LinkedIn may be the better option for more corporate companies, as this is the Social Network of choice for most professionals, and many have their notifications sent to their e-mails every time a discussion is updated, meaning they won’t miss a beat.
These are just three of the more popular Group options many HR departments tend to utilize in order to give management, and employees a way of communicating with each other at all hours of the day.
I hope you at least have a look and assess how one of these may fit in with your internal communications strategy. As Social Media grows in popularity, many find it hard to see the real business value, but with these tools that are available, you can easily make Social Media work for your internal communications, and catch your employees, inside and outside of work to bring real-time communication to help complete projects, update with timely suggestions, advice, feedback channels, and a way for employees to feel more engaged with the organisation.
About the author
Eva-Maria is a Social Media Consultant based in New Zealand. For further information visit www.socialemedia.co.nz or phone +64 27 322 7085