Then this summer I was delighted to be invited to deliver team training for Safety Management UK a Fire Risk Assessments & Fire Safety Training organisation.
They have an unusual social media strategy in that the whole team is not allowed, but positively encouraged to be on twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook during work hours!
As that’s a heart attack inducing concept for so many organisations, I asked MD Brian Gregory to answer some questions for me – and for you…
1. Why did you decide that the whole team should be using social media?
Whilst we are a small company, we do diverse jobs in there, social media allows the outside world to see what we do, but on a human level. It allows the personality to come through from a fire risk assessor, and project administrator and the MD, so we can describe our own jobs within the company, put some of ourselves into that and show there is a human, and often funny side to a dry subject like fire safety.
2. Most organisations would be very concerned about staff spending time on social media. Are you worried that people might waste time rather than doing work?
Not at all, all PR is good PR, so if the troops are telling the world, what they do, how they do it and in a human way, they are generating relationships, and our business is built on relationships, therefore the work will eventually come and the troops have some fun doing it…
3. Again many organisations are concerned that staff will post something inappropriate that could damage the reputation of the organisation. What are your thoughts on this?
Never be afraid to say sorry if you got it wrong. Social media is so immediate, that in 5 minutes each post is swamped by a million others, so the chances of being seen are minimal. Having said that, we have lovely people in the office, so they are highly unlikely to say anything controversial, but if they do, so what, we apologies to the offended and crack on with life, by saying sorry we might even start a new relationship.
4. Anything that you would like to add?
The biggest hurdle is getting them to use it, not stopping them using it, or being concerned they are wasting their time on social media. They manage their own time during the day, and work can be hard, tedious, boring, so if you have a nice job every day to break off for, it alleviates the bad days, just a bit.
The irony of this is that when I deliver seminars about getting organisations to think about bringing the whole team on board, I use the fire safety analogy, you wouldn’t just train the H&S team in fire procedure would you ?
What about you? If your staff or volunteers use social media to raise awareness of your organisation I’d love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below.
If you would like to talk to me about training your team please drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find out more about Safety Management UK here