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