Social Media is the latest and greatest way of communicating. As project managers, you know the importance of communication with your team, so why not integrate social media into your project management team? Using these methods of communication can improve your connection with your team, allow your team to use networks they are likely already comfortable on, and save tons of time making your collaboration smoother and your project a successful one.
There’s many ways to incorporate social media into your team successfully. We’re going to go through some of our favorite ways. Just as each project is different, each of these tools may or may not be right for your team. Pick and choose a few for a current project and see what works for you- then come back and tell us what combination worked best!
You can start a blog using WordPress and ask each member of the team to contribute to it once a week, once a month, twice a month, etc. Have them identify new tools, how they worked, and any new thoughts or ideas they might like to incorporate. Be sure each member signs up for an RSS feed and gets a notification as new articles are posted.
Need a private blog? You can password protect most blogs like WordPress, Blogger or TypePad and invite only your team to see what’s going on.
In 140 characters or less, you can update your team on what you’re up to. It’s a simple and easy way to share your thoughts with your team, ask question and post links to resources. It’s also a great way to meet new team members or get thoughts from experienced project managers. There’s a great group of project managers on Twitter- check out @PMCAMPUS on Twitter and see who we’re following and who’s following us to meet up with some great #PMOT (That’s Project Managers On Twitter in case you were wondering! )
Yet another way to communicate with your team. Some people prefer Facebook, some prefer Twitter, and they all have their own unique advantages. Try creating a group (and you can even set it to private) for your team on Facebook. Your team can post any new updates, blog posts, or links to the group and as a group owner, you can send your users updates right through Facebook.
As project managers, we’re constantly trying to keep costs down, but still keep in touch with our team and have access as needed. In comes Skype. Free to use, chat and make calls via Skype, you can keep a list of your team members, set up conference calls, video calls, and conference chats, and keep track of your past conversations. Skype is an integral part of staying connected with your team. You can even integrate Skype with Facebook. Project managers will find Skype’s chat features especially useful when last minute issues arise, or you’re trying to get a hold of a person without having to pick up the phone or send an email.
The use of Wikis to define a new concept or a new addition to a project can help your team members define exactly what the goal in mind is, and how they will collaboratively get there. With team members encouraged to contribute to a wiki, you can complement your project nicely. Sometimes helping to create documentation can open your eyes to new ways of looking at a concept. And showing others on the team how you see something can also offer them a new perspective and will contribute to your project on a new level.
Aside from all these options, we also have a great list of some of our favorite project management tools that you can view here. And we just have to point out, that one thing many project managers seem to forget is that using social media can help team members embrace a sense of community and can ultimately build morale and provide a more successful product. Using Twitter to post a link to something humorous that would make your team crack a smile, or posting a funny article on Facebook can help keep your team paying attention too. It’s important to use these networks appropriately, but try not to resist having a little fun with them- in 140 characters or less…