Social media for internal and external communications

Organisations have changed the way they interact with their stakeholders and social media is central to this change.

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Conversations matter

Sometimes you hear anecdotes that leave you both entertained and slightly aghast.  At LIKE Ideas 2012 in London, the audience heard about an internal communications manager who (when being told how social media could help internal communications), asked "Why do people need to talk to each other?"

Fortunately there are plenty of organisations, and people within them, who understand exactly why conversations are so important - internally, externally and across boundaries.  Over 100 of them came together at LIKE Ideas to share social media success stories and ideas.

External communications - from monarchy to democracy

The increased importance of social media to the world of work reflects a wider change in the way organisations interact with their stakeholders.  Bertie Bosrédon, sharing a case study about the charity Breast Cancer Care (BCC), described how six years ago BCC (like most other organisations) behaved like a 'monarchy'.  Strategic decisions were based on assumptions about what the charity's audiences wanted.  New systems, processes and tools mean that organisations can now engage stakeholders in meaningful conversations about how the charity can support, educate and engage them. 

The charity's social media activities all support its key mission - to support people with cancer.  The organisation has two Facebook accounts, a Flickr account, Twitter accounts, a YouTube channel and a Vimeo account.  People can tag themselves in photographs at fundraising events.   The charity interacts with people who tweet their plans to take part in charity events.   The Twitter strategy means tweets can be planned ahead to ensure each objective is fulfilled. 

How to develop a social media strategy (in seven words)

Bertie outlined the key stages of developing a social media strategy.  In seven words these are:

Survey, guidelines, training, empower, monitor, report, learn

Other lessons learned

  • Develop social media guidelines with staff
  • Ask staff to be social media champions for the organisation
  • Involve staff in friendly competition - Twevor the [twitter] Twophy is fought over by staff eager to become the best social media worker of the week
  • 55% of staff promote the organisation via Twitter - often using their personal accounts
  • By having a Twitter strategy, the organisation can make sure at least one tweet per day meets each objective
  • Internal social media champions meet quarterly to share and capture stories.

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