Why Twitter has the wrong stuff for internal comms

Issues with content are context are tough obstacles for employee engagement.

Issues with content are context are tough obstacles for employee engagement

The micro-blogging site Twitter has seen a massive growth in users and press coverage in recent months.

There is little doubt that it is an important communications tool, but is it really the next big thing for internal communicators? The short answer is NO. Here’s why:

Effective employee communication is about providing context. How much context is possible in 140 characters? Research shows that the vast majority of tweets are right up there at 139 or 140 characters, demonstrating that most people try to squeeze their messages into the maximum allotted space.

Don’t believe the hype. Some technology organizations promote case studies about how they have used Twitter as a tool to build staff engagement. Take the time to lift the lid on the numbers, and you’ll find that the uptake is usually less than 3 percent of staff — quite poor for a “game-changing” internal communications tool.

It’s useless, unless employees are there. Twitter is an opt-in messaging system. Once an employee has set up an account, then he or she must follow your internal communications tweets. That brings me to the next point:

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.