Social media: we use it personally, we use it to drum up more business, but what about IN the business? At MarketMeSuite we have been looking inward and have recently made some major improvements to our workflow and interaction. By bringing the social experience to the workplace, we’ve found we’ve been more communicative, more productive, and generally happier!
Social Productivity Hack #1: Be as transparent as possible
Ever had a hallway conversation that you wish the rest of the team knew about? What about daily stand-ups where you talk to each other but no one writes it down? We had that problem, a few people would talk to each other, and the rest of the team may not know about it until the next team meeting, so we decided to change that with Facebook Groups. Facebook has a very cool group function that is often overlooked. You can create closed groups, which is perfect for a business. That means that the admin adds people, but no one from the outside will see the group. We started off using this for our Daily Standups (a post each day per team member where each team member talks about what they did yesterday, what they’re doing today, and any problems they may be having). It hooks in with the normal Facebook notification system so each team member got notified when someone replied.
You may outgrow this.
We did! This was a great proof of concept for us, but as we got more frequent in our posting, we needed the ability to search and tag posts (marketing, development) which Facebook doesn’t currently offer in groups. So, we switched to a private WordPress.com site and installed a theme called “P2″ which operates almost identically to a Facebook group, but has the added benefit of tagging and categorizing like any other blog. We average 7 to 10 posts a day, and everyone is finding it very easy to keep up to date with it all!
Social Productivity Hack #2: Make it easy to chat
Hipchat has changed our life at MarketMeSuite. We have used every chatting software from iChat, to IRC to Skype, but HipChat has it all. It’s what is called “persistent” chat which means that even when you’re not in the “room,” you can still see what’s happening.
Whenever you get back online you can easily review what your team has been chatting about. It will even notify you by email if you are @mentioned directly, and with the mobile app installed on our smartphones, it’s easy to shoot a quick answer wherever you are.
Social Productivity Hack #3: Just “Do” it (and make it fun!)
No, I didn’t just advertise for Nike. There’s this really nifty app called “Do” and it’s by the folks over at Salesforce. “Do” is a handy smartphone app that lets you collaborate as a team and assign tasks, and interact with each other throughout. This is one I haven’t had a lot of experience with (yet) but it’s something I’ve been experimenting with a couple of team members and so far we like it.
There are other productivity tools out there like Basecamp, but Do takes more of the social network approach so you can see what the entire team is up to at any given time, instead of just being assigned your tasks in your own bubble. It’s that added interactivity that makes this more fun to use, and when something is more fun, inevitably people will commit to it more!
Social Productivity Hack #4: Be friends
If your employees are too nervous to have you as a friend on Facebook, you’re probably doing something wrong in your company culture. Granted, you may not want to share every little thing with every person (that’s why Facebook invented sharing settings), but the act of being friends with everyone on the team goes a long way for keeping up morale and solidarity.
Not quite up to Facebook friending yet? Start with Twitter and make sure everyone is following everyone else. Encourage your team to @mention each other, take photos, hashtag your company, tag each other in photos. Extending the social interaction to the actual social networks helps your employees feel more a part of something, and also has the added bonus of giving the public perception of a tight knit team.
Social Productivity Hack #5: Share visually
At MarketMeSuite we just started using Instagram. We were a little slow on the uptake with that one because it wasn’t as easy for group contribution, but it’s been working for us by having our community manager as admin of the account. Whenever someone finds an image they’d like to share, they post it in HipChat and Allison is on the job posting it, applies the #marketmesuite hashtag to it, and @mentions the team member’s own Instagram account.
With Pinterest it’s even easier to all contribute. You can also do a group pinboard, which we do, so everyone can post what they find interesting into one place. You can have public boards, but we also have a secret board, that’s just for team members to curate awesome internet images. We find that our “remember!” board is very useful, for things we see on the go that we want to remember to discuss with the team later!
Social Productivity At The Company Level
Companies are different than the were even a few years ago. There’s a shift in culture that has made life in general more interconnected than ever before. Since consciously working to make MarketMeSuite a more connected and socially productive company, we’ve seen a lot of benefit. My team is more informed, happier and more productive. Have you implemented any of these hacks into your business? Let me know by tweeting me @tammykfennell or commenting!