People usually ask for more in-person kind of engagement when change is happening.
But why is social media more relevant to change communication today?
Because people spend almost three hours per day on social media and more than half of employees in an organization are using social media daily.
So, organizations must utilise social media as a change management tool.
Social media is a new communication tool to engage internal and external stakeholders of change.
What makes social media different from traditional communication channels ?
Its its ability to allow two-way and real time communication, engagement, collaboration and co-creation.
With advancement in mobile technology and access to internet, social media is easy to use and you don’t need sophisticated devices or gadgets. All you need is just a mobile phone and an internet connection.
You can leverage community-driven, user-generated material on social media to engage everyone in the transformation conversation.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss in detail benefits of social media for change and how to use social media for change management.
Why social media is important for change management
Social media can play a crucial part in implementation of organizational change and can be considered as one of best tools of change management today.
Jonny Gifford (2013) presented five benefits of social media and explain how it can be utilized to get things started and drive the change that your organization needs.
These five benefits are as follows:
Efficient communication: Social media increase efficiency of communication and knowledge transfer. It helps to reach out right people with right kind of information. As for change management, social media is very effective and efficient in communicating change to internal and external stakeholders.
Employee voice: Engagement with employees is crucial for success of change management. Social media helps to listen to employee views by giving them a platform where they can share their voice, concerns and feedback on change. They can also share innovative ideas that can be used to promote change.
Networking and collaboration: Social media allows meaningful connections among people. It facilitate change process by providing employees and others stakeholder platforms to frequently interact, make networks and collaborate with each other to make change happen.
Learning and development: As social media is a great learning resource so change leaders and managers can use social media to build capacity of their team by providing them e-learning opportunities. Organizations can create their own learning portal which can be promoted through social media.
Recruitment and job hunting: Social media networking sites such as Linkedln are now widely used for both recruitment and employment. Change leaders can use such platforms to reach out to human resource and change professional can also find exciting opportunities.
07 Ways to use social media to facilitate change management
There are certain principles of social media so let’s discuss some of important points that help us to understand how to use social media for change management.
1. Ensure leaders’ participation
The first principle to make social media work for you during change is to ensure participation of leadership.
The absence of organizational leaders from social media is one of the reasons of failure of communication plan in change management.
If change leaders and managers share content and respond to comments of employees and stakeholder, it gives a message that leadership is committed to change. This could be instrumental in overcoming resistance to change as well.
2. Select relevant social media platform
Its also crucial to make assessment of internal social media platforms that employees are already using.
There is absolutely no need to introduce new platforms or tools because it can turn out to be a separate change management project.
You just need to align your communication plan with whatever employees and stakeholders are using.
3. Ensure two-way communication
As the change project proceeds, social media allows for better communication across the organization.
Managers can also see where any challenges or pain points emerge and take efforts to mitigate them by tracking and engaging in online dialogues.
Employees can utilize social media not just to express their views and concerns, but also to obtain accurate information about the organizational change efforts.
4. Encourage new ideas
Ideas might originate from any part of an organization. But employees should be encourage to share these ideas through social media.
Some people are hesitant to speak up in official meetings and writing official email, but they are quite active on social media. Such people can share new ideas on change.
Social technology, such as blogs or message boards with comments, can provide several chances to share, produce, and build on ideas in a collaborative, open style that is visible throughout the organization.
5. Offer new learning opportunities
When it comes to delivering tailored learning experiences related to a change endeavour, social media can be quite helpful.
Employees are brought together for a common learning experience through live web conferences and telepresence systems.
Platforms for user-generated content, such as YouTube, allow employees to offer brief video or audio training sections related to the change initiative.
6. Track your progress
Organizations typically struggle to track progress, but social media may assist by offering real-time feedback on which direction change management is heading to.
There are different ways to monitor and asses the progress through social media. For examples some platforms offer survey tool that facilitate quick feedback from employees.
Managers can also organize online feedback meetings through social media tools to get feedback in real time about how employees are feeling about change and what are bottlenecks they are facing.
7. Communicate with your Customers
Since customers are end users of your products and services, so you must start communicating change with them early on. An honest and transparent communication helps a lot to gain their trust and feedback on time.
Since customers are nowadays widely using social media, social media to communicate change to your customers is being used by every organization.
You must must keep active presence on the social media tool which your customers are using. of your customers. It is wise to take your customers along with you and get them involved in the journey of change.
Social media is becoming one of powerful communication tool and business must use and get benefit of it during change management. Every change manager must learn early on how to use social media for change management. However, it is equally important that social media is one only communication tool and you can not ignore impact and benefits of other communication channels. The best strategy is to use all communication channels as per your need and utility.