Tag Archives: Twitter

Don’t focus on the new “it” tools to understand what social media is all about

The list of social media tools is long and constantly growing longer. New “it” are being released every few months and older tools reaching maturity very quickly. Given this mercurial environment, it doesn’t seem productive to focus on the tools when trying to understand social media.

The Conversation Prism, by Brian Solis and JESS3, as seen at http://www.theconversationprism.com/

In his book, Social Media ROI, Oliver Blanchard offers a wonderful metaphor that I have used many times when explaining social media to others:

The term social media describes the pipes; social communication and social interaction describe what people do with them.

Instead it is best to focus on understanding the sorts of interactions people have when using these tools and how that knowledge might be used to create better communication experiences and facilitate improved access to information

Focus on building relationships and connecting with people,  then choose the best tool for the job.

The difference between using these social media tools in addition to or in place of more traditional communication tools, will be in your message’s velocity and reach.

Leave a comment

Filed under Social Media

Measuring the Effectiveness of Social Media in Health Care – A Brief Rant

To measure the effectiveness of social media communication efforts in health care, it is important to look at social media as one more tool in a health communicator’s tool box. The success of these efforts must be measured in relation to the business objectives they support and the degree to which those objectives are met.

While some communicators try to use return-on-investment to evaluate social media efforts, this technique is often not very useful, except in those rare instances when a clear causal relationship can be drawn between a specific communication effort and a specific outcome.

For health care organizations, social media is about more than profit and loss; it is about fostering relationships that promote the health of patients and the health of the organization. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Health Care, Social Media

The Yammer Work Groups Project

Periodically, my employer conducts an All Staff Survey. The last one was in 2011. The goals of the survey are:

  • to shape change at the workplace at all levels of the organization
  • provide a way of measuring how employees feel about their work and their work environment
  • to provide opportunities for open communication

Several weeks ago, I was invited to join a work group to address the results of the survey in my particular work unit. It’s not often that an employee is given a chance–in fact, charged with–becoming an agent of change in the workplace. I can’t say I jumped for joy (my mountain of work is just as high as everybody else’s). But under my load, I hopped a little.

An Opportunity to Introduce Social Communication into the Workplace

Ever since I returned to school to finish my Master’s degree in Communications in June, I’ve been casting about for the right work project to double as a Master’s capstone project. Something related to business applications of social communication (using tools like Facebook, Twitter, etc…). This new work group seemed like the perfect opportunity to conduct a trial run of Yammer Premium Groups.

For those who may not have heard of it, Yammer is an enterprise social networking tool that functions like a cross between Facebook and Twitter. Users can share information and collaborate across the enterprise using this tool. With Premium Groups, users can set up special work groups (private or public). Members of the group can collaborate on a project in this space, sharing files, asking and answering questions, and posting announcements. It provides a sort of virtual meeting environment that can often take the place of in-person meetings and email. The potentials of this tool are very exciting.

I was thrilled when our project’s leadership sponsor agreed to allow me to use this group to run a pilot of Yammer work groups.  I was still more thrilled at how supportive she was of the scholarly side of my goals.

Wish us luck. This promises to be a very challenging and rewarding project.

Leave a comment

Filed under Social Media, Yammer