One of the key challenges for start-ups, small and medium enterprises (SME) is to ensure a continuous focus on the “organizational aspects” of the enterprise. While the focus tends to be predominantly on new business wins (contribution to “top-line” growth) or enriching the product / service portfolio (possible contribution to the “top-line” / “bottom-line”), several times “softer organizational aspects” like employee motivation, building team spirit, etc. are de-prioritized.
One possible and effective ways to address these issues would be to leverage the power of Social Media platforms. Not only is social media cost effective, easy to learn and adopt; but also given that many employees anyway spend a part of their time regularly on Social media platforms – the probability of success is amplified!
Among all the available social media platforms, Twitter in particular can be effectively leveraged for several key aspects within an organization. Trends suggest that Twitter is already being adopted internally within many organizations. However, the intent and objective varies drastically – in some cases, it may be just a “follow-the-herd” mentality and in some it may be because someone in “power” within the organization suggested it and in some it may be with a compelling well-thought out strategy.
However, the real success can be realized only if there is a well-defined objective for usage of Twitter, a time frame and a specific measurement criterion aligned to the objective.
In this blog, I will list 6 very specific ways Twitter can be used within YOUR organization:
(1) For Generating Ideas
Twitter can be used as a great platform for idea generation. The reason being that ideas can occur any time of the day and when you are in the middle of any task. And all that is required to capture an idea is a place to log it. Twitter can easily be used for this objective – as you can enter your ideas / thoughts when they occur and in a very brief manner (140 chars) – All you need is probably your laptop / mobile, internet connectivity (which is usually available 24 hours a day) and discipline in logging your ideas. Usage of a specific Twitter hashtag to capture ideas aligned with a specific objective can prove to be enormously helpful here. Of course, idea qualification and evaluation has to be handled separately.
(2) For Knowledge Sharing
Twitter can be a very effective platform for knowledge sharing. In today’s day and age, it is imperative for most professionals to keep up-to-date with several aspects of their job. The other reality is that we are all pressed for time. Twitter can prove to be very effective to achieve this. So let’s say a team of 3 people need to update their knowledge on Project Management, Technology and Domain trends. Every day, one person reads on the topic assigned to him / her for 15 minutes and shares the key information / data / links on Twitter (again possibly with a predefined hashtag). So in a span of about 30 minutes, all 3 will have access to the required knowledge and have the opportunity to continuously update themselves on all 3 dimensions critical to their work performance. What is key is to ensure the you are clear on the areas that you need to build knowledge on, there’s an equal distribution of work in the team and of course, self-discipline to read and share with the team. Again, this may take some time to institutionalize, but definitely worth it in the long run!
(3) For Employee Communication
Twitter as a social media platform has a one to many reach. All that is required is to ensure that you have the right people following the Twitter handle through which the communication is made. And of course, the right person is empowered to share relevant updates as tweets on a regular basis. Especially in a small organization, it is critical that important updates are relayed in a continuous manner within the teams. Given the fact that many start-ups / SME’s comprise of geographically distributed teams, Twitter proves to be very effective.
(4) For Building Team Spirit
Twitter can prove to be a very powerful channel to build team spirit within an organization. And the beauty is that Twitter can be effectively adopted irrespective of the team size, irrespective of the functions of the team and irrespective of the geographic location of the team! Of course, “building team spirit” is a very soft and important organizational issue. Twitter can be a great platform to share personal details so that others in the team can know you better (of course! To the extent you want to be known) at a “personal level”
(5) For Employee Motivation
Don’t we all need a daily dose of motivation? It could be a simple quote or an inspirational blog or simply an article to bring a smile and kick-start your day on a positive note. Twitter can be very effective to achieve this. All you need to do is ensure that one person tweets every morning / at periodic intervals 1/few inspirational tweet for the team. And this is all the more key for a start-up or SME because individuals and teams need to be fuelled by passion and motivation on a daily basis to keep them going through the many highs and lows in their journey.
(6) For Precise Business Communication
One of the reasons why I love Twitter is that it enforces brevity in written communication. And especially in business communication, brevity is the key to success – especially with customers, partners and investors. In today’s age, who is not pressed for time? And hence, who would not appreciate if you can communicate in a clear and concise fashion? The point is to be brief, you first need to be clear in your mind about the message you need to convey. And this comes with awareness, experience and practice – It is both a skill and art! Let me illustrate with an example – A VC (Venture Captial) I know mentioned that the BIGGEST challenge he has to fund a venture is because the individual / teams were unable to ARTICULATE in the first 2-3 minutes of conversation the answers to the following 2 questions: a)What are the problem(s) you are trying to address?
b)How do you plan to address these problems?, i.e. – What is your solution?
And the point he said is this, “If someone is unable to express the REAL PROBLEM and SOLUTION in the first 2-3 minutes of conversation, then something is WRONG! Either they are not clear themselves about their value proposition OR They don’t believe in it OR They need to improve on their communication – which is critical to their success especially if you are a start-up or SME. ”
So over a period of time if you use Twitter, you will observe that brevity in written and oral communication improves significantly. And that’s a definite BONUS for a start-up / SME.
Ending Pearls of Wisdom:
• Twitter is a powerful social media platform which can be leveraged effectively if you have a specific OBJECTIVE
• The real success will be realized only if there is a champion tasked with each of these objectives and there is some mechanism to monitor the usage and adoption
How do you think your organization can use Twitter internally? Leave a comment to let me know…
Originally published at the Nasscom Emerge blog