Five ways to encourage social media at work

How to introduce social media tools without intimidating newbies.

1. Introduce social networks. In reality, social media represents a new form of communication. For example e-mail became an easier way to send a letter or fax. Encourage employees to communicate with the external world (such as members of the media or sales prospects), not via e-mail, but through social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. This forces them online, and at the same time, simply replaces a task that’s already being done with another tool, and one that’s free.

2. Set up an internal blog or wiki to share links. You know the guy who e-mails links to everyone? Well, it’s likely that you have some sort of enterprise software or can set up a free account on WetPaint or Ning that will allow employees to log into a closed network and share links. Set it up and ask employees to share resources on the internal social wiki, blog or network instead of e-mailing everyone. It will actually increase productivity for those not clicking through, and provide a means of discussion for those who do.

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