Online Social Media Helps Companies Manage Change

Nancy Anderson
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Companies use dedicated social media accounts to interact with customers, engage with the general public and announce important initiatives to a wide audience. This type of communication can also facilitate change within a company because the medium provides quick methods of communication among employees at all levels.

Social media represents an opportunity for upper management to hear actual concerns from the staff. It also marks a way companies can respond quickly and efficiently to questions, concerns and issues. These types of accounts utilize public messages, private groups for employees and private messaging services when needed. Leverage these tools to help facilitate change in a positive, constructive way since most employees probably already have a Facebook or Twitter account.

Training seminars and materials, webinars, and group discussions can all be disseminated and scheduled through social media, which is remarkably beneficial for companies where employees live in different parts of the country or work in various offices. The training manager can send the same message to many people all at once during a time of company-wide change. Several online sources such as Live Meeting, WebEx or GoToMeeting let multiple people in different locations attend the same session. YouTube and Vimeo allow private videos to be sent to employees without the general public seeing them. CEOs can create a private Facebook group where just company staffers participate.

Social media allows for an open forum that lets employees build on the ideas of one another, especially when things transform and move forward. If Sally in accounting brings forth an idea for saving money, Jim in the mail room can expound on it with a subsequent post, while Robert in management can address both of their ideas simultaneously. Provide microblogs on various websites where managers write ideas down and employees leave feedback as to what works and what does not seem practical.

Data mining software analyzes public posts to see what people discuss over open channels of the Internet. Use this same software to analyze employee sentiment through internal social media channels. Analyzing retweets and Facebook likes may not be enough to gauge how your employees feel about a certain issue. Keyword searchers count how many times certain words are used in documents to assess what is discussed.

Social channels create an internal brand for your employees. When lower-level staffers recognize upper-tier managers listen to suggestions, they like coming to work, they show up on time and give an all-out effort. A collaborative effort creates a team spirit that lasts beyond the actual transformative process as employees leave behind old ways of running the company.

Effecting change within a company takes an all-out effort from everyone in the firm. Social media helps mitigate changes, reassures staff and provides a two-way communication platform for employees to discuss these new alterations among themselves.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at



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