How to use Facebook groups for internal communication

The social network offers a free, familiar venue where staffers can connect, but follow this protocol before your organization dives in.

Facebook groups are a great way for people with a common interest to connect. Not common interest as in, “We Love Dogs,” but a common daily interest. In other words, there needs to be a reason to check out the group each day and something to talk about. Features such as polls, photos, events, chat and documents encourage collaboration and discussion. Companies can use Facebook groups to unite staff members in an interactive, accessible space.

Here are some guidelines for using Facebook groups for internal communications:

1. Make sure your company is right for Facebook

Many companies are jumping at the chance to use Facebook for advertising, marketing and more, and usually it is worth the effort. But for internal communications, there are important questions to ask before giving it a shot. Do your employees have access to computers? Are you OK with your employees checking their Facebook accounts at work for updates? Are you willing to get top management involved in the endeavor and set an example by joining and interacting? All of these questions should be considered before you start setting up the group.

2. Set guidelines

Make expectations and community guidelines clear from the beginning. Specify whether it is all right to post social activities, such as a happy hour after work or lunch in the break room. Be clear that no one is required to connect with anyone else in the group through their personal accounts. Just because employees join the group does not mean they have to “friend” one another.

3. Pick ambassadors

Choose ambassadors from different parts of the company. If your company has multiple offices, establish an ambassador from each office. Someone in upper management should pick these leaders and assign them the initial task of getting their colleagues excited and involved. Leaders should be people already familiar with Facebook and eager to make a name for themselves in the company.

4. Monitor membership

Make sure to give administrator privileges to responsible individuals, possibly someone in the Human Resources department. Administrators should have an updated list so they approve only current employees.

With more than 500 million active users on Facebook, it’s likely that many of your staff members are already there. Facebook provides a free alternative or supplement to a company intranet where employees can get information and connect with one another in a digital world that most of them already know.

Hannah Harrill is the social media project coordinator at Capstrat, a communications agency based in Raleigh, NC. This article originally appeared on Capstrat blog. Follower her on Twitter @hannahharrill.

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