Social Media – Know How

November 10, 2009

I am curious as to how you read the title. Did you mentally put a question mark at the end, or did you feel the excitement of an exclamation point!

Exclamation Point for Me!

If you read the title with an exclamation point was that because you are competent enough to be a “coach” to others, because you are “in the know” on how to use social media for a variety of purposes, and you are “in the know” on places to go, people to listen to regarding getting the most from social media.

Question Mark for Me!

And if you are in the question mark group, perhaps you are one of many who are struggling to understand social media. Asking questions like should I be engaging in social networking, or committing more time to online communities. Maybe you are wondering if there are really benefits to using it for your business. And maybe, just maybe, you are trying to put your arms around how to learn to use this new technology.

It’s All About the Conversation!

Whether you felt an exclamation point or you were hoping for a lesson on social media because of your questioning of this new world, here is the root of social media. It’s all in the conversation. I am challenging you, whichever side of the fence you are on, to join in conversation. Share your favorite websites, LinkedIn groups, people to follow on Twitter, etc. that have helped you grow in your knowledge on social media. For those of you wanting to join in but didn’t have anyone to ask, here is your chance! Post your questions. Let’s start talking about what works, what doesn’t, and try to help each other out by breaking down the barrier to social networking.

One request: please post your comments on this WordPress blog site where it asks you to “leave a comment/reply.”

It will be much easier to follow the conversations if they are all in one place.
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Eileen Weisman is a communication strategist, an on-going student of social media, good listener, a walker, a recycling expert, a dog lover, and a mother of the bride (read previous posts to learn more). Contact The W Group to discuss opportunities for improving the listening environment within your company or organization

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We hear a lot these days about the popularity of social networking.What makes them so attractive?  I can define their success in one word: community.

A sense of community builds a sense of belonging.  Members of online communities such as Facebook, Linkedin, and mySpace define their success by their number of friends or connections.  Visiting social networks provide an outlet for people’s emotions and for sharing what’s important in their life at that moment. But will a list of friends truly define a commuity in the workplace?

You could build an online community at work, but most business leaders are still uncomfortable with that option.  Here is an easier, cost-effective solution, that your employees will support willingly, if well chosen. 

Find a project in your community that generates a sense of spirit, a sense of shared purpose, and a sense of belonging among your employees.  Being a good corporate citizen doesn’t have to cost you money.  Your employees can tutor in a local school, clean up an empty lot, participate in Habitat for Humanity, organize a food drive. The possibilities are endless.

Truly embrace the concept of being a good corporate citizen. You will begin to see behavior from your workforce that benefits your bottom line.maslow4

According to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, people are motivated by unsatisfied needs.  His hierarchy illustrates that lower needs like safety and security must be satisfied before attending to higher needs like esteem and self actualization.

Just look at the Maslow pyramid. If you want your workforce to be creative, to solve problems, and be confident, you must meet those lower needs first.

Building a community in the workplace must be grounded in your company’s mission and core values.  Your employees will respect your company more, and respect the leadership for creating an environoment of commitment to their community.  And with that, you create a stronger community in the workplace where values are shared and productivity improves.

During these turbulent and unique economic times, leaders must create a reality that provides basics such as safety and security, and a sense of belonging.  Otherwise, workers will not focus on the job at hand, but rather on protecting their personal needs. Move your organization to the top of Maslow’s pyramid and experience the optimal results of community.