Employees are family

This is the last of three posts from the MOOC Content Strategy for Professionals.

I have seen two exceptional presentations from IBM employees about how they use social media as part of the company’s intranet and internal comms plan. One was Stuart McRae and if you don’t already follow him on Twitter you should. Both times I was blown away so I was over the moon when the last set of lectures on the course was a series of interviews with Jon Iwata, IBM’s Chief Marketing Officer and Mike Rhodin Head of Software Solutions. Unfortunately these videos don’t seem to be on Northwestern University’s YouTube channel but if you search YouTube for Jon Iwata there are plenty of similar presentations by him about the future of comms which should inspire you. In the meantime here’s what I gleaned from Jon and Mike from the MOOC.

Your intranet

Provide the tools and environment for employees to network and create their own content. This will flatten the organisation’s hierarchy. Everyone has an opinion but if they’re going to share it they have to be aware of the consequences. Over time this creates social norms. It’s the democratisation of information sharing with a purpose – collaboration and problem-solving rather than just broadcast communication.

IBM marketing

Big data blows mass communication out of the water – now we can talk to the individual. Based on what we know about you, here’s what we think you’ll need.

Employees are family

Have a social media policy. It should begin with ‘We think it’s in your best interest to get good at social media. Are you speaking as yourself or on behalf of the company? If you wouldn’t say it in a meeting, don’t say it on social media.’

Give employees messages that they can pass on via their own social media.

Millennials work well in teams because they have grown up collaborating – they share everything.

Design content to be shared, rather than consumed.

Not all social media channels are the same, have the same audience or the same culture. Master the language and culture of the channel before you try using it.

If you know the customer and tailor the content and channel to suit your content won’t be adding to the information noise – it’ll be adding value to the customer’s life.

What tools and skills should a content strategist have?

Embed from Getty Images
  • a knowledge of data analysis and stats is essential to help look for the patterns that influence decisions. These days data should drive comms
  • storytelling
  • and interest in human behaviour, social psychology and behavioural economics

And guess what – there are free MOOCs in all of these things available through the Coursera database. Go look. Come and join me.

Tune of the week

I can’t think of a better storyteller than Gil Scott-Heron so here’s I Think I’ll Call It Morning.

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