I’ve been writing about the social media audit process, uncovering what an organization learns when they go through this exercise. My last post “The Social Media Audit: Five Common Missing Pieces” mentioned the fifth missing piece as “Training and Education.” This piece is a crucial part of your social media program. Brands are finding out that social media focus should start from the inside out. If your internal champions are not on board, on the same page and working collaboratively, your program may suffer with its external social communications and not engage as effectively with the public.
If you know that you need to set up a training program or educate your employees on social media, here are several of the features you should keep in mind when deciding on an internal social platform:
- Social networking capabilities (with the ability to set up a profile)
- Internal communications tools including messaging, discussion and chat)
- Sharing capabilities including links, resources and documents editing
- Subgroups and/or discussion forums
- Data ownership and whether or not the social network claims any ownership rights in your code, content, or network data
- Ease of set up and use; the selection of a platform that’s easy to manage and upload content
- Ease of customization; a platform that enables employees to add designs, photos and maintain the brand’s identity
- Price (there’s a big difference between enterprise software and a platform for creating social sites)
When you review different platforms, make sure to keep your company’s culture in mind and select a platform that is intuitive, simple to navigate and one that offers some type of training (i.e., video tutorials). Moving from a traditional communications infrastructure to an internal social platform is a tremendous shift, so you want to ease into the change with a platform that is hands on and easy to use. A few platforms that we’ve reviewed are SharePoint, Socialtext, Grou.ps and Ning. Of course, it’s important to do a comparison and demo each platform to see which one is the best for your organization. Remember, when you’re finally up and running, it’s also really important to set up benchmark measurements to gauge employee adoption and participation rates.
What platforms would you recommend for internal social collaboration and learning?