Using Social Media As An Effective Project Management Tool
Project management, to be effective, requires a lot of communication and team collaboration. A project’s success relies on the value of the team’s communications, and if the message isn’t getting through, tasks can be delayed, costs can go over budget, and schedules can slip. Because project management requires good communication, it behooves project managers and team members to utilize tools which can give them the greatest efficiencies along with seamless functioning. Fortunately, the ubiquity of social media has provided companies with these tools practically for free, and teams are now seeing the benefits of adding these tools to their communications mix. Here are some ways that social media is giving a big boost to project management.
The core purpose of social media is to improve communications between people, and they excel at doing so for both personal and professional reasons. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus offer a host of different ways to stay in touch, including options for both individual and groups communications. With an estimated 90% of a project manager’s time being spent on communications, it’s no wonder that better tools can be a boon for business.
With a better system of communication in place, teams are certain to benefit from better collaboration as well. When working complex projects with various tasks, team members, and schedule constraints, it’s imperative for everyone to be on the same page. A social media expert with a Brandeis Project Management Master’sdegree says social media ensures that online communication is both simple and ongoing. Email is a useful tool, but social media enhances the experience of collaboration by allowing users to see postings of project materials, to exchange documents more easily over networks, and to work together to complete tasks online.
Another critical part of project management is seeking out methods to improve processes. Process improvement is a continuous, iterative process that requires team members and management alike to always be looking for ways to complete tasks quicker and cheaper. Social media has lived up to the hype here as it gives teams a remarkably useful tool for communications with barely any costs involved. Just a few decades ago a long-distance phone call, especially international, was considered to be both expensive and inconvenient for everyone involved due to different time zones. Today, social media allows for instantaneous communications that are also passive in nature, meaning that messages can be sent, checked, and then replied to at any time. These systems provide for much greater efficiency in countless ways, and they’re now essential tools for project managers and teams to have at their disposal.
Social media is widely acclaimed for its personal use, but its use in business is just as significant. For those who haven’t yet incorporated social media into their workflows and communications plans, it’s never too late to start using it and getting the hang of how best to use social media to suit the needs of the project and the company.
How To Avoid Common Facebook Marketing Mistakes
Facebook marketing has become extremely popular among small businesses, but there are some pitfalls. Here are five common mistakes and how to avoid them.
The number one mistake to make on Facebook is ‘broadcasting’ your messages, rather than providing fans with relevant and engaging content. Facebook is all about authenticity, so if your company message does not feel genuine, the community will see through it straight away.
Make sure you interact and encourage your fans to connect with you instead of merely having making money as your focus. People go on Facebook to make connections and join a community and it’s very important to remember that.
2. Not Investing Adequate Time
A really successful Facebook strategy takes time to cultivate; you can’t just ‘set it and forget it’. You have to remain interactive and keep your page current and interesting to engage customers; otherwise they will have no reason to stay. Make sure you respond to posts and messages in a timely manner and give your fans plenty of new content to respond to.
Set aside time each day to monitor what’s landed on your page and respond to it appropriately.
3. Being Boring or Predictable
Continual updates and product status reports will become boring if you overdo them. Facebook is all about being social and sharing amusing or interesting titbits of information. When planning your posts, think about what kind of content your fans will actually want to read and most importantly, share with their friends.
If you become overly predictable, annoying or just plain boring, your fans will simply hide you from their feed and all your hard work will be in vain. Keep it varied and personal; use photos, tags and videos to engage your fans. Auto-published content should also be avoided; use Facebook’s native publishing tools instead and keep it real.
4. Failing to Learn About Facebook Mechanics and Tools
Make sure you take time to learn the ins and outs of Facebook’s many tools. By using all the functionality available, you can create a truly optimal brand experience. Why not create a custom welcome page, or use the many tools at your disposal to introduce your company to the Facebook audience?
A basic mistake is to try to upload a company logo as your profile image. The resulting thumbnail that shows up in your news feeds will only capture a few letters in the centre of the logo and this meaningless, partial image is then how you’re branded throughout Facebook.
Another useful tool is Facebook Insights, a built-in analytics system. You can use this for post-campaign analysis to see what sort of content receives the best feedback and customer engagement.
5. Violating Facebook’s Terms
Make sure you understand the Ts and Cs; many companies risk losing all their hard work in building a following simply because they don’t follow the rules. Common errors include trying to build a community on a personal page rather than a proper Facebook page; tagging people in images without their permission and failing to follow the rules around running contests.
If Facebook receives complaints, your page will be reviewed and you may find you lose everything you’ve worked for.
Learn about the Facebook platform and educate yourself on how to build and maintain an audience, engaging with people in the same way that you do in real life. Small businesses are far better able to make personal connections with their customers; don’t forget this when you join Facebook as it could be your biggest asset.
Content Marketing Tricks for Linkedin
If you’re not marketing your brand on LinkedIn, you’re missing out on some very exciting opportunities. When it comes to content marketing, companies tend to focus on publishing blogs and promoting them on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Well, LinkedIn is an excellent place to promote content too. Simply posting content to the site isn’t enough, however. We’ve hand-picked a few great tips and tricks for marketing content on this powerful social network, so study up to step up your content marketing game.
Get on Board with the LinkedIn Publishing Platform – Companies that learn the LinkedIn Publishing Platform tend to be the most successful with their content marketing efforts. It’s easy enough to use, but LinkedIn offers a wealth of resources for making the most of it. Designate someone at your company to learn the ropes.
Refresh Your LinkedIn Profile
Your content marketing efforts will fall on deaf ears if your company profile is bland, generic and stale. First and foremost, make sure it’s branded to be consistent with the rest of your company’s image. Nu Skins does an excellent job in this regard. The company’s LinkedIn page has the same look and feel as its website and other online profiles, so people instantly know they’re reading content from a trusted source. Also, consistently update your company page, and make sure to engage in plenty of LinkedIn activities so visitors can see that your business is active and ready to go.
Create Exceptional Content
Creating great content for LinkedIn is mostly about providing your audience with informative, compelling, interesting information that they can actually use. Therefore, you must know your audience and be willing to provide it with content that dovetails with its needs and expectations. Avoid generic, fluffy content at all costs. Avoid rehashing the same ideas again and again too. Sure, it’s tricky coming up with fresh, interesting content on a regular basis, but doing so will help your star rise on LinkedIn and increase the odds of it being featured prominently by the social media giant.
Give LinkedIn Showcase Pages a Whirl
Targeted content will always outperform content that’s delivered to a much broader audience. Through LinkedIn Groups, of course, you can target very specific users based on criteria like industry, company size and even job title. If you have specific product lines or other offshoots you’d like to promote, you can’t go wrong with LinkedIn Showcase Pages. They are basically niche pages that serve as extensions for your overall brand, and you can post content directly from them to deliver engaging information to highly targeted audiences.
Avoid Hard-Selling at All Costs
Whatever you do, keep the promotional, salesy language at an absolute minimum. It’s frowned upon on most social media platforms, but it’s an especially major faux pas on a site like LinkedIn. People are there to make connections that will enhance their careers, so pushing the hard sell onto them will only alienate them and make your company look bad.
Check Out Companies Using LinkedIn Right for Inspiration
Sometimes, the best way to get a feel for how to proceed with a new endeavor is by seeing how others have put it into action. Nu Skins, which was mentioned previously, is a prime example of a business that’s effectively using LinkedIn to promote content and, by extension, to promote its brand. IBM is a huge, powerful corporation, but its LinkedIn strategy is deceptively simple – and incredibly effective. The company understands what its audience wants, and it delivers relevant, interesting content about topics that keep followers coming back for more.
The takeaway here is not to overthink things. Be consistent, keep your content fresh, engaging, relevant and informative and, most of all, stay active on LinkedIn.