[FILM] Social Media @ Work

with 12 Comments

LONDON 17 June 2011 — Able and How, working with Red Sky Vision, today released a short film about the use of social media in the workplace.

Included in the film are some opinion leaders from major businesses, from the social media world, from journalism and from consultancy. More here at Red Sky Vision.

Some of the questions the film asks are yours to answer:

• Are businesses using social media effectively?

• If yes, then how?

• If no, then why not?

• Are the fears justified?

• What can and should be done about it?

Please share your experience below please:

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12 Responses

  1. YseUp

    I think a big reason that businesses are avoiding social media is because a lot of them rely on projecting a certain image (marketing) and are afraid of the more authentic communication that is necessary with social media.

  2. Ellen

    To all involved – well done on an excellent video addressing very real points. I did feel a sense of panic though … I need to learn more about social media so I’m not left on the proverbial communication shelf! ; ) (so far, so good fyi)

  3. David Ferrabee

    We’ve had a few comments on the detail. In particular some head-scratching has happened on the reference to ’email being supplanted by social media by 2013′. and I think i should make clear that that comment is taken out of context.
    The speaker was not referring to email worldwide. But in a specific organisation.

  4. Jon Weedon

    I enjoyed the film and am grateful for the opportunity to have watched it. I also agree with nearly all of the sentiment, which is hardly surprising I guess as an avid user and advocate of Social Media. It felt a little odd watching a relatively long film with high production values and such esteemed speakers discussing a communications phenomena that is all about the very opposite; democratised communication delivered on the fly, often in tiny bite sized chunks. I was a touch disappointed with the comments from @IVCASpeak about SM providing a massive opportunity to those good at creating emotionally engaging content being able to gain tremendous power by delivering really important messages. To me that sounds very much like the old comms values that many of us are trying to move away from. Content creation and delivery has its place in Internal Communications, but that place is not in social media and it is diminishing in by the day.

    @RichardDennison clearly gets it. “Influence comes from being part of the conversation”. Internal Communicators need to create opportunities for those conversations to take place, not to control and direct them. I love Twitter, but I very quickly unfollow people that instead of exposing themselves as people keep trying to sell stuff to me. The internal audience is equally discerning and unforgiving in my opinion.

  5. Sarah Avison

    A good film and captures some of the solid reasons for using social media and not just running away with the technology. We are using more social media for external audiences than internal and I wondered what people’s thoughts are on the fact that social media for employees is optional and doesn’t reach everyone. We would be excluding many staff who don’t generally use PCs (or any devices) on a daily basis, and many more who don’t engage with social media. Our most recent staff survey still had email as by far the preferred channel for communicating. Are we way behind the times or should we stick with what employees actually want? I’m torn between the two….

  6. Euan Gillies

    @Sarah Avison I see social media as a place to start conversations. They don’t need to stay online, in fact it is better if they don’t. Why is it a problem for social media that not everyone PC access but it is still acceptable to use email?

    On a slight tangent- Is it because Social Media didn’t start out as a business tool that people are afraid to use it in the business setting? Most of the common objections to social media in the workplace can be said of email as well.

  7. Kevin McDougall

    I would like to add something of value but @j0n1 has said it all. Well done that man.

  8. David Ferrabee

    There are at least two things here that I am surprised no one is willing to have a ‘frank and honest’ discussion about:
    1) Content is not as important as contacts.
    2) SM can’t work because its is self-selecting, so you can’t reach everyone.
    Really? I am sure there are viewers with opinions on those two.
    P.S. Happy to have comments in other languages…

  9. Jon Weedon

    @ableandhow I’ll have a go 🙂

    (1) SM is all about relationships, but content will make or break them. Content needs to be real not contrived. In that respect content is important as long as it is authentic. Contacts (followers, friends, likes etc) are only important if there are shared values, interests or reciprocity. I certainly don’t measure the value in my Twitter and Linkedin contacts by numbers.

    (2)SM is self selecting and will never reach everyone. You cannot force people to use it if they don’t want to. But it can work if used as part of a multi channel approach and not an exclusive “all or nothing” channel. I’m convinced of its value. It has been stealing market share from email for ages and will continue to do so IMO, inside and outside of the organisation.

  10. Rachel Miller

    Hi, there are a couple of comments about this film on my blog too: http://www.rachmiller.com/?p=938

    Well done to all involved in creating the film and sparking thoughts.

    @Jon I totally agree with your points, particularly around communicators creating opportunities for conversations to take place. To add my two penneth worth, and to respond to David’s questions, I think:

    1) Content is king. It has to be. It should be real, authentic and believable. Controlled and contrived content sticks out a mile and turns people off, literally. Gaining ‘followers’ or contacts is relatively easy. Keeping them is not, and it shouldn’t be. It is a privilege to have people choosing to follow/friend etc. In the realm of Twitter, it’s just as easy to click unfollow as it is to follow.

    I wouldn’t keep going back to a shop, in the High Street or online, if the content never changed, they didn’t open/deliver when I wanted them to and they didn’t rotate stock, provide offers and be a welcoming/user-friendly place I wanted to visit (darn those bakeries with their yummy bread smells…). The same goes for communication, and in particular employee/internal communication; it needs to be kept fresh, alive and engaging.

    Contacts are important, however measuring importance purely in terms of numbers is foolhardy. I agree with Jon’s point, I’m constantly challenged by what I read and the conversations that I take part in and listen to/observe. The richness of content comes from those taking part, with all their views and opinions.

    2) Self selecting – I read that as choice. People choose to join in a conversation, to sign up, read, talk, discuss. It depends what you’re measuring success on. If you launch a forum and your measure of success is x amount of comments, will you ever be totally happy until you’ve reached that magic number? Jon’s point about using social media as part of a multi-channel approach and not exclusive is key.

    You CAN reach everyone, but importantly, only if they choose to let you. That choice should not be taken away from them. Sheep-dipping and forcing people to sign up to something starts you off on the back foot. We’ve all read time and again about successful employee comms channels which have started virally, spread via word-of-mouth and flourished, and equally of people who have tried, and failed, to do the same thing.

    I heard only last night of a way to measure emails to see whether they have been opened, deleted, forwarded etc – very Big Brother and fairly frightening! – but my point is that you can reach people via email, but if they choose not to open it, you’ve not actually ‘reached’ them. Technically, yes. Emotionally or otherwise, no.

    Getting the balance right is a tough one, but films and conversations like this are a good start to encourage ideas and opinions.

  11. […] I’ve discovered there are many more comments on this film online. Check them out here. Tweet This Post June 17th, 2011 | Tags: Communications, conversations, Internal Comms, linkedin, […]

  12. David Ferrabee

    I’m reading a book about music right now. A book… about music…
    Does that seem odd?
    I am just checking because a few people have made comments about how a very nice film about social media is wrong. Social media = poorly shot or poorly lit films? Or anything about social media must be delivered in the form of… social media?
    I am not sure I agree with that view.
    However, yesterday I had a nice catch up with the film’s producer, Robin Block, and we were discussing a recent report about how we had used social media to tease people into watching this film (about social media).
    Clever right?
    Me: “Robin, did we plan to do that?”
    RB: “Um, I didn’t…”
    Sometimes the channels are just right and you don’t think about them.
    That’s ideal, no?

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