Social Media – Yay or Nay?

Well, I’m back to the blog after something of a hiatus, and my intention is to post as regularly as possible from this point on. Yes, I know – everyone says that. But we all have demands on our time, be it work related or personal/family commitments, and this brings me nicely on to the point of my post.

There’s no question that social media has impacted almost every aspect of our lives; indeed, it’s hard to recall the time before Facebook when – if you had some news you wanted to share – you picked up the phone. Well, as an old hand at blogging but not exactly an early adopter so far as other forms of social media are concerned, I’m now seriously considering Twitter as a means of communication. More specifically, as a means of business communication.

The truth is that I can’t quite make up my mind… I haven’t yet determined where it’s benefits lie and to what extent tangible reward will follow the commitment of time and resource that I believe Twitter requires. What I do know is that many of my friends and colleagues in FM have embraced this particular platform wholeheartedly, so if you’re one of them I’d really like to hear your views. Of course, you need to bear in mind that if you tweet your response, I won’t know about it just yet…

  1. #1 by Liz Kentish The FM Coach on August 4, 2011 - 8:17 am

    Hi Tony

    OK, so you know I’m a bit of a social media (SM) fan! It works for me because it keeps my profile in the public eye, and I find it’s easy to connect with my target audience. I think the issue is mainly about using SM in the workplace – if we’re talking Twitter and Facebook for example, we should have a SM strategy and protocols in place, and usually a SM manager who can be the voice of the company.

    For me, one of the key learning points has been about ‘uploading’ rather than ‘downloading’. SM is about giving freely, becoming the ‘go to expert’ rather than using the internet simply for taking.

    Come and join us on Twitter Tony – you’d be very welcome among the FM Twitterati!

    Liz Kentish The FM Coach
    Find me on Twitter @FMCoach

    • #2 by Tony Angel on August 4, 2011 - 2:55 pm

      Yes, it seems to work from the perspective of profile. And I like the notion of giving back to the FM community, which you seem to have homed in on rather well.

      There are lots of issues from the perspective of the corporate environment, of course; they weren’t part of the thought process that prompted me to seek opinion, but they’re certainly important so far as the bigger picture is concerned. And I suspect that the average IT manager will be ill-equipped to determine, monitor and advise on SM strategy (which I reckon would have to involve elements of security, corporate governance, HR, and possibly other disciplines in addition to IT).

  2. #3 by Paul Crilly on August 4, 2011 - 12:40 pm

    Tony, Liz,

    Whilst I agree whole heartedly with Liz about the SM strategy and stakeholder manager, I cannot help fearing that we are all playing catch up in a world that has already embraced the methodology of proactive information sharing. This will inevitably lead to reactive application and I have concerns about that being the motivation.

    Based on some Linked In feedback recently there is a real hunger for some application leadership. Over to you Liz.

    • #4 by Tony Angel on August 4, 2011 - 2:59 pm

      Can you clarify your point on feedback, Paul, and what are the dangers of “reactive application”?

  3. #5 by Paul Crilly on August 4, 2011 - 3:14 pm

    Tony,

    When someone recently offered a free paper on Linke In use there was almost a stampede to acquire it!!

    The danger for me in reactive application is that the strategic driver is just that, “we need to be doing it because everyone else is”, rather than challenging what is it that the organisation is seeking to do and how best could we harness the process of instant information exchange (i.e. social media). For me it is back to strategy and stakeholder management.

  4. #6 by thefmguru on August 19, 2011 - 9:18 am

    Tony

    My advice is not try to intellectualise it. Social media is just another communication tool. If you have something to say to a particular audience you choose the most appropriate medium: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blog, website, text, presentation, letter, lunch… or whatever combination works best. Why wouldn’t you use every tool available?

    • #7 by Tony Angel on August 19, 2011 - 11:03 am

      Thanks Martin, and I think you’ve hit the nail on the head in terms of what this post was about. Is Twitter an effective medium for business communication, and does it actually bear comparison with some of the other media you mention?

      I guess my own view has been skewed by constant tweets about breakfast menus, how busy it is in the gym, and the fact that the kids are playing up again. Perhaps the answer is to apply discipline not only to what you tweet, but also to whom you follow. (There – nothing like asking a question and answering it yourself!)

      Anyway, the jury’s still out for me, but I suspect I’m edging a bit closer.

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