Here’s a great overview, from a marketing angle, of the touch points that social media provide and how businesses can understand them. There’s an awesome graphic in the middle of the article that limns it all out. (It’s from McKinsey Quarterly — you may need to join for free to read it.)
There’s an employee-engagement angle in here, too: these social-media functions are radically changing people’s expectations of how they should receive information from their own companies and should have access to participate and respond.
Put another way, I’ll call this Campbell’s Credibility Quotient:
effectiveness in communicating with employees
credibility of leadership = ————————————————
effectiveness in communicating with customers
If people feel leaders are more committed to being effective with customers than with employees, that perceived gap harms the credibility of leaders. Commitment to rapid, fair, clear, two-way and engaging communications with customers — the pillars of social media — needs to result in the same approach or better for employees.
Have a look at that graphic and ask if your employee communications hit those same touch points. Social media have already changed your people whether it’s changing your business model yet or not.
Welcome to social media!
This graphic, or LUMAscape from LUMA Partners, is pinging its way around the ‘net, probably both because it’s useful and because it’s not. Be sure to full-screen it to get the total effect.
When you’re asking the question about whether using social media is a good business strategy, the answer is a strong “Possibly.” For the right kinds of content, for the right audiences, it’s actually essential. But — as with any medium — you’ve got to start with a clear picture of what you’re hoping to achieve, in very concrete terms and with specific outcomes. Otherwise, this is the landscape that’s going to greet you, and good luck with that.
Here’s today’s topic for comments: Would you or would you not like to be the person charged with keeping this graphic updated?
At the same time companies are feeling a crush of internal communication, some functions say there isn’t enough (see this survey). Of course, “Communication” (the formal, planned messaging that’s generated from the top) isn’t the same as the routine communication that people need to feel plugged-in, valued and effective.
Note that this is an Accountemps survey of CFOs — interesting because finance functions are especially attuned to whether employees understand the workings of the business. When they do, departments make better budget decisions (and better budgets), T&E keeps from ballooning out of control, and new-business proposals are smarter. Finance, like everybody else, hates feeling like they’re either an internal cop or continually cleaning up messes. Clear communication helps keep that from happening.
Do the branding, do the promotion, do the employee engagement. But don’t neglect advising line leaders on their day-to-day communications methods and styles. When people feel they’re getting clear, ongoing communication from leaders and managers, they do less re-work and they get excited by forward momentum. That’s a benefit worth more than an in-house masseuse, every time.
Is your communication team helping you with this?