Coordinating Social media Across the Organization

Joseph Provenza is the CIO at Flagler College in St. Augustine Florida. Joe takes a lead role on the College’s Social Media Core Team, which consists of the office of Web and New Media Services, Admissions and Marketing.  With Joe’s background in technology, I thought it would be interesting to share his thoughts on coordinating information across an organization:

In an enterprise of any size (which, if you look at something as simple as a married couple, means two or more people), coordination is critical.  If information can come out of more than one area and/or get communicated to more than one location or channel, you immediately have the potential for a disaster, if the effort is not coordinated.  At best, the organization can look rather foolish and, in these days of rapid and global information sharing via social networking, it can look foolish in front of a lot of people in a very short period of time. 

At worst, the organization may be responsible for misinformation that causes hurt to its customer.  Poor customer service, especially when the customer is acting on published information from the organization, will exasperate the customer.  Additionally, it exasperates the employees as their job goes from taking care of a customer (which makes one feel good at the end of the day) to damage control (which makes one not want to come to work the next day).  The effects are far-reaching if one thinks about it long enough.  The bottom line is, for want of the up-front discipline of the coordination of information, an organization can spare itself public relations nightmares and the kind of reproach that may cost it the loss of customers, reputation, and employee morale.

Joe also shared with me a brief story about another important area of coordination, which is social media account management, mentioning a recent situation at Flagler College:

It seems to me that, since nothing is forever as it pertains to organizations, it is critical that access to all social media platforms be kept in one place.  We recently experienced the pain of this when a professor asked us to update a site.  We had never heard of the site so we asked for its credentials.  It turns out the site was created by students who have since left the College, so we have no way to access the site.  Since we have been in charge of this effort, we request credentials for every site and social media account about which we are aware.  Every now and again, we find one of which we are not aware. However, it reminds my team why we request social media account information in the first place. 

How are you coordinating social media at your organization and what are your best practices?