The Next Step: Internal Professional Uses of Social Media

Our generation are the connoisseurs of social media.  We’ve grown up together, side by side, and from MySpace to LinkedIn, we know the ins and outs of what makes a platform work.  Now, we, the social media generation, are about to enter the real world.  Does this mean another change for professional social media uses? Will we simply mimic the current professional uses of social media? Or, will we take our knowledge and implement some new changes?

People my age utilize social media much better than the professionals.  We don’t only use it to connect and promote, but to help organize our lives.  As we begin to enter the workforce, we have the opportunity to bring this into professional social media.

Many companies only consider social media for external uses. But what if we began to utilize social media for internal purposes? Below is a list of ways social media is utilized in our non-professional lives, and how it can benefit the workforce.

social_networking_cartoon

Maybe one day we won’t have to pretend not to be on social media at work…

(http://www.roystoncartoons.com/2013/09/ten-cartoons-about-twitter.html

Facebook Groups

I’m in a Facebook Group for every organization I participate in.  I’ve been in a group for my sorority, for my study abroad program, for a class…just about anything that requires free-flowing communication to thrive.

Facebook groups are a great way to help organize a group of people. It’s interface by design is simple and easy to follow, and has many different options in terms of privacy and control.  Companies could set up a Facebook group for their employees to help spread general information around the office, from memos to announcements.  It could also be used as a brainstorming platform for teams to post on, updating team members on their work’s status and uploading documents and photos for feedback.  Being in a Facebook group, big or small, has made anything that requires scheduling and communicating to a specific group of people so much easier.  If companies started internal groups, this efficiency can carry from our college groups to our work life.

Tumblr Pages

Many companies use social media to brand themselves.  What I haven’t noticed many companies use social media for, though, is to appeal as an environment for outside prospects.  When looking for a job, its easy to know what type of environment you want to work in.  The hard part is trying to figure out that environment before getting hired.  Tumblr pages allow organizations to show their personality in a simple, scroll-able format.  A tumblr page for a specific office can feature photos of office parties, snippets of every day life, updates on the company, reblogs of specific interests of the office–anything that gives the outside a good idea of what the office’s personality is, not just the company.

Speciality Twitters

Like Facebook, Twitter is an easy way to communicate to a large group of people. Just like we do in class, companies can have their own handle and hashtag to connect employees.  Their handle can be private in order to share information to only a specific group of people, or it can be public, connecting employees instead of business.

Offices could make each employee get a Twitter handle used specifically for work where they send out quick, easy blasts of information.  For example, if there’s a last minute location change for a mandatory staff meeting the moderator could send a quick Tweet. Twitter can be used in the same way of a mass texting system, but it is less invasive and more controllable by the receiving end of the message. By using Twitter as an easy communication tool it allows employees to still feel a separation between work and personal life, while maintaining a professional demeanor.

social-media

(http://blogs.sfu.ca/departments/cstudies/pr/?p=555)

These are just three ideas on how we as the rising work force can effect professional social media. Implementing social media as an internal office tool is the perfect solution to an easy, more accessible but not too personal way of communication.

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2 thoughts on “The Next Step: Internal Professional Uses of Social Media

  1. Hey Brenna,

    This is a very good idea for social media use in the professional world. I never considered how it could be used internally by everyone who works in the office. When I worked at a company during the summer, we had a internal instant messaging system. That was how we notified everyone of a upcoming meeting or if there was free food in the lunch room. But with that system, you had to select which people to send the message out to. If that company I worked for used Twitter or Facebook to send out the notification, the message would reach more people without trying. Using either of these platforms would save the company money as well. They would not have to set up the other type of instant messaging as there is already one in existence available to the masses. I think other companies would greatly benefit from utilizing social media platforms in the way you suggested.

    -Myah

    Like

  2. Hey Brenna,

    I think this is a very interesting way to look at how companies can effectively use social media. Sure, they use it to brand themselves and to appeal to their customer base, but they really aren’t using it to help themselves. You’re right, literally every club/ group/ interest that I have, I am in a Facebook group for whether to spread information fast, to make it easily accessible, or to brainstorm more ideas. This would be a great use for companies to utilize the convenience and organization that social media offers to you. As more and more of “our generation” and the ones behind us who have also grown up with social media enter higher position in companies, I can see this being a very valid use of social media.

    As Myah said many companies use the internal messaging systems. This to me is attempting to bring back AIM, and theres a reason thats not popular anymore. Facebook gives you every option from group messages to group pages to public posts. Why use an outdated messaging system which gives only one type of communication. I have also heard of problems where one department doesn’t use the messaging system, or similar issues, which put you back to emailing or figuring out different ways.

    This is an awesome thought and hopefully companies start utilizing their social media for their own convenience.

    – Abby

    Like

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