We are living in a highly connected era. Regardless of your location, you are probably interacting with people around the world on a daily basis through email, cell phone and social media. Even though these are people we have never met, and probably never will, it gives us a sense of belonging and community. This is true even when it comes to business. Think about the brands that you follow online. There is a good chance that you have had a conversation with not only the business but with other customers, which in turn may strengthen our bond and loyalty to that company without us even knowing.
For the above reasons alone, a home business owner potentially has a lot to gain by making social media part of their team building. And this opportunity crosses industry boundaries. Secret Facebook Groups and Private Google+ Communities can be used by direct sales reps building a downline, online business owners using affiliates, those utilizing the services of freelancers or as an added layer of service for coaching clients.
Benefits of Using Social Media for Teams
- Share company news at a moment’s notice and on the go
- Upload training videos and documents
- Members can collaborate and assist each other with common problems
- Your team can share tips and techniques that increase your bottom line
- Feeling more connected and as part of community may reduce turnover
- It’s an opportunity to re-engage less motivated team members or affiliates
The privacy level of your group will likely be determined by the size. If you team is small, you will likely want to choose a Private Community (Google+) or Secret Group (Facebook). These groups are not visible in search results and will therefore require that you invite members or give them your link (this is optional with Google+, just check the appropriate box). If your business is recruiting new team members or affiliates on a continuous basis, you may prefer a Closed Group that allows for anyone to request admission though you will need to approve them. Open or Public groups may not be the best avenue for this type of community as anyone, anywhere can join anytime with or without your consent. Any passersby will also be able to view your group’s contents.
There is another aspect of community management here, but you may find it is far less than you anticipate. As members are able to assist each other you may find many smaller issues are resolved without your intervention. You may also find a Facebook Group or Google+ Community is embraced far more by your team members than them needing to visit your website or forum to receive updates or collaborate as a team. Many are likely already on these social platforms on a daily basis.
Have you used social networking platforms in your team building?