The last few weeks it seems circumstances been converging in a way that has been forcing me to refresh my thinking around social media in a work context.
Stephen and Tim both wrote posts that got the gears turning, I was also invited to speak about social media to a new audience and alongside the launch of our organisation blog (which I remain proud of) I have also been asked to help set up & contribute to another blog for a high profile project.
In order to frame this little mental reboot I took another look at the new(ish) Social Media Guidelines for Civil Servants [pdf] and in particular their ‘principles’.
As I’ve written before I think they are ambitious and sensible. They weren’t *quite* right for us though so I have very slightly tweaked them [plus dropped the last two that don't quite work in the context I'm thinking about..]
So these are the four ‘principles’ around which I am building our new tactical approach to social media.
Communicate with your audience in the places they already are
Use social media to consult, engage and inform
Use social media to be more transparent and accountable
Be part of the conversation with all the benefits that brings
On a practical note I have extended our social media footprint a bit as well.
Despite a long held aversion to the platform for anything other than arranging nights out and sharing embarrassing pictures in the aftermath I have setup a first stab at an official Facebook page. The fact is the new timeline layout is actually pretty decent for that sort of thing (if useless for individuals) and as we seek to build engagement around the content we are primarily publishing on the blog it seemed self-defeating to ignore the biggest and most engaged network. I still have doubts but we will see. I’m also working on trying to get the official Facebook plugin working for our WordPress blog which does some very clever things around comments etc which might have potential [if it ever works!].
I also took the required steps to claim my ‘company’ LinkedIn page – this was surprisingly easy once I dug around a bit for some guidance. At the moment there are a couple of thousand members ‘following’ the organsation on LinkedIn. To be honest at the moment I’m not quite sure what to do with that. I have a slightly ill thought out idea of a kind of ‘alumni’ networking group but for the time being it is essentially just another distribution channel.
[What I have noticed is the the social network wars are very much upon us - auto sharing of content between any of these platforms is rarely possible these days!]
While like Tim I do think Twitter takes up an unhealthy amount of focus when we are planning social media activity it remains a key channel. It is one we really must get a better handle on though. As I recently commented on Marilyns blog I have never been too convinced of its worth as an engagement channel for organisations rather than individuals. I then read something like this post about ‘credible voices’ from Stephen Hale and I’m more convinced than ever that we need to look at this whole area again. We have the people with those ‘credible voices’ but we just need to support and empower them.
With our ongoing travails trying to relaunch the corporate website it seems more and more important that we make the most of these other channels available to us [with an upcoming post on our adoption of GovDelivery another aspect of that] so thanks all for the kickstart. Even if it did ruin a weekend