How do you ensure your organisation embraces social media by more than just a token Facebook and Twitter account? By having your comms person share good ideas, for one.
by Jon King
The tipping point for social media in local government was reached a while back. In terms of adoption, councils have either done it, are about to do it or are asking someone else how they did it so that they can do it too.
But the adoption of social media is only the beginning. Facebook pages and Twitter accounts alone do not a social business make.
Be sensitive to the fact that some people in your organisation are accepting social media only grudgingly. It’s now about ‘hearts & minds’.
The adage ‘it’s not the tools, it’s the culture’ is always worth repeating and re-enforcing with practical examples of the appliance of the science. Your colleague is unlikely to ask ‘how will social media impact on our corporate objectives?’ but they’ll certainly be thinking ‘how will it make my job easier?’
Not surprisingly, social media is my way of keeping abreast of those new ideas and practical examples. I’m on record as saying that I owe my job to what I’ve learned on Twitter.
My role affords me the luxury of sticking my head above the parapet and seeing what else is going on. In that respect, I feel I have a duty to share what nuggets I find through social media with my colleagues. Some of it may be of use some may not but it does ensure that as an organisation we get a regular injection of innovation juice. It’s the kind of information that demonstrates that there are other models of public service delivery and new approaches to building relationships with our residents. So there’s a new role right there, Comms officer as content curator. Comms2Point0 post useful links on a daily basis and they’re not alone. It’s that plentiful supply of good ideas, freely shared that I love about social media.
As forward thinking comms officers we have a clear interest in following these developments but unless we share them with the people who can apply them, we’re no further forward. So the question is, how will you disseminate these gems within your organisation? How do we ensure that the people who count can access these gems? Because that’s how change really happens.
We adopted Yammer as an internal social media channel in November 2011and we now have over a thousand members. But that’s still a fraction of the total number of employees. There’s still some work to do but it’s a start and a step towards that social business model. It’s the appliance of social media science.
Jon King is Senior eCommunications Officer at Shropshire Council. He blogs here.
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