Social Media Tools – Part 3

Social Media Tools: Applicable at Work or Not?

Working as a project management consultant, I’m often asked about some of the “new” social media tools available to organizations. What are the BEST tools? How can they help? Are they worth it? If you’re thinking about whether or not to apply social media tools at work, you’re not alone. Let’s take a look at what’s going on in the world, what tools are available, the pros and cons, and how to sell your ideas to upper management. I’ll spread this discussion over the next four blogs.

Part 3 of the discussion:
Selling Upper Management on the Idea
If you are sold on the idea of using social media tools, but need to sell upper management before you can start implementing your plan, here are some steps you may want to consider;

First: back up your argument with supporting data:
• Use the above pros combined with some real life case studies of practical applications by reputable organizations world wide
• See the following books for current research, case studies and additional ideas:
o Butow, Eric. Blogging, Create and Maintain Valuable Customer Connections to Drive Business. ISBN #978-0-7897-4256-8
o Brogan, Chris. Social Media 101: Tactics and Tips to Develop Your Business Online. ISBN # 978-0-470-56341-0
o Geoghegan, Michael W. and Dan Glass. Podcast Solutions, the Complete Guide to Audio and Video Podcasting. ISBN # 978-1-59059-905-1
o Penenberg, Adam L. Viral Loop, From Facebook to Twitter, How Today’s Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves. ISBN # 978-1-4013-2349-3

Second: Translate your ideas into hard currency or hard benefits:
Of course, the question is always, “where do I find numbers for hard currency?” Start with the basics.
Figure out baseline costs for your organization: $
• Operational costs
• Staff efficiency rates (time to achieve average day-to-day tasks)
• The percentage of time spent fixing issues with ongoing work
o Some automotive manufacturers measure the amount of physical space being used to fix quality problems from the manufacturing line (10%, 20%, 30% of total space available)
• The percentage of innovation per capita of staff
• Staff retention numbers (Is it possible to increase staff retention by incorporating social media tools? Some organizations thinks so)
• Additionally, you may want to research other organizations that are using social media tools and explore what changes they may have experienced to some of the above mentioned variables. Translate their results into percentages that can be applied to your current baseline numbers. This will give you some extrapolated hard currency that can be injected into your presentation to upper management.

Larry T. Barnard

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