Using Social Media in Project Management
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Social media in business should not be discounted as a useful tool – it can be used effectively to improve communication and involvement in projects.
Social media is now a regular part of most people's day-to-day lives, and most people have an account with at least one social media site. While these sites have predominantly been used for personal interactions, there is now an increasing tendency for businesses to make successful and effective use of social media for their projects. Although there are many benefits of using the internet in this way, there are also some risks. Your role as the project manager is to make sure that the use of social media far outweighs any risks involved.
Limit Those Who Can Contribute
Those who are authorised to contribute towards the content of the businesses social media sites should only be allowed to use it for business purposes, not for personal interactions. The account should be designated for these purposes and entirely separate to employees' personal accounts. Who can have access to social media accounts for specific projects should be outlined in the project management framework. If a person is going to be made responsible for social media content, it should be clear to them and to the team that it is their sole responsibility.
Clearly Outline the Rules
The project manager should set policies about how and when the social media accounts can be used and for what purposes at the initial stages of the project. These policies should be made clear to all members of the team to avoid any inappropriate use of the accounts.
Assigning the management of social media accounts to someone just because they use them a lot in their personal life can actually be productive. The tasks should be delegated to someone who has received appropriate training in using social media for business purposes. They can pass on what they have learned at their training to other members of the team. If you do not have anyone on your team with the correct knowledge and experience, then it is worth considering getting at least one member of the team up to speed because social media is becoming an intrinsic part of business strategy in many industries.
Build a Community
Your use of social media should be geared towards activities such as brainstorming and troubleshooting. Your aim should be to build a community of stakeholders. Once their use of social media is established, the community can then be used to develop more refined goals.
Provided you consider the risks and outline policies from the start, using social media is a useful tool in developing projects. Appropriate training should be sought and building communities with activity specific targets will contribute to the effective use of social media. As mentioned above, if you do not currently have anyone on your team who understands the importance of social media in business, it is worth seeking those with expertise and relevant training in order to rectify this issue.