Communicate collaboratively with social media
Tuesday, 12th June 2012
Maintaining good lines of communication in all teams is essential to success. There are multiple channels for keeping team members connected, each with different opportunities and risks. Consider social media for collaborative communication.
How do you make sure you are communicating in a manner that gets the best results? How do you minimise the possibility of being misinterpreted? When do you use a channel for collaboration versus information? Identifying and using the best channel for each situation improves team relations and drives positive results.
While email is the default communication method for many, there are other tools at your disposal that may be better suited to your goals. Consider social media for collaborative communication.
This is where collaborative, cross-team conversations should happen. Many organisations are recognising the value of social media and implementing internal enterprise social networking platforms such as Yammer or Chatter. These platforms create a place where people continually share information and provide support.
Brainstorms, if they can’t happen in person or via a virtual meeting, should happen here. Consider using social media to brainstorm during calls as well. This will be discussed further in a later section. Social media allows you to communicate and receive immediate responses in real-time. It also allows other people to benefit from the conversation and add their replies, increasing your chances of receiving quick feedback. It also increases your chances of receiving unique responses from people you may not think to email, allowing you to make new connections.
Don’t create noise on any social media platform. Make sure you are adding value. Be relevant and authentic when making a request, posting an update, or sharing information. Create a safe haven for people to share and provide positive reinforcement to those who may be reluctant to ask for help in the open. Add to conversations where you can provide useful insights. Some tips for success on communicating effectively using social media:
- Give and take: Post to gather feedback for your own purposes, but make sure you respond to other people’s posts and requests.
- Engage others: Alert others to valuable posts by mentioning them. This will also help you build better relationships.
- Post where appropriate: Identify groups or topics and post there so people with expertise in a particular field have an increased chance of seeing it.
- Recognise your colleagues: Thanks those that help, praise people who share, and celebrate individual and team successes. When you recognise a colleague, you strengthen that relationship.