Using social media for project management might not have seemed effective to both project managers and organizations a few years ago but things have changed and how!
Gone are the days when social media was no more than just a medium for users to forge new connections.
It’s amazing how social media has opened up an array of possibilities for businesses of all sizes and types to enhance communication and collaboration, which are two of the most crucial drivers in project management.
Project managers and organizations have realized that the far-reaching influence of social media can be utilized in more ways than one when it comes to project management.
Social Media, Communication And Project Management
Communication is the core of project management; it should flow quickly to the right people at the right time.
Increasing number of team members, clients, and stakeholders are working from different geographical locations and different time zones. Therefore, project managers have to look for ways to maintain seamless communication among all those who are involved in a project.
In this context, social media can prove to be a great binding force that enables people to share ideas, information, feedback, videos, personal messages, etc. All social media platforms provide a quick and reliable platform for users to be on the same page and collaborate to achieve set targets.
Social media should not only be looked at as wide-scale networking platforms but also as technology that facilitates prompt and information-rich communication among users.
Before we go on to discuss some undeniable benefits of social media in the field of project management, it would be worth taking a pause and reflect on the 6 C’s that drive and underpin social media usage in the business world.
6 Vital C’s Of Social Media In Contemporary Times
Collaboration and social media are synonymous with each other. Sharing of messages, files and documents, images, audio and video files among users is common on various social media channels. Since project management involves sharing and collaboration of more or less the same elements, social media can prove to be a useful addition.
Social media revolves around creating and building communities with people/ groups with similar interests and ideas. That’s the primary purpose for users to use social media – to share and exchange information in virtual communities.
Social media thrives on the regular flow of communication; people coming together to discuss trending topics and areas of common interest. Even a single message can reach millions of people across different platforms and they can reply within seconds. Another aspect where social media can be of a great addition to project management.
We’ve all heard that content is king, and this saying holds true for social media. Engaging, original, and relevant content has the potential to engage social media users by providing them with valuable information on a range of topics. Content is rightly termed as the center of social media engagement.
Curation refers to classifying, organizing, and maintaining content by social media participants. Curation is a collaborative effort where individuals circulate valuable content within their communities and explain how it adds value and what they’ve learned from it.
Social media revolves around group culture, which thrives on collaboration and communication. It’s amazing how a single click can enable people to express their views within seconds!
All these C’s are interconnected. For example, curated content can lead to conversations, which are the foundation stones of your community and culture.
Undeniable Benefits Of Social Media For Project Management
We have read how social media is a strong platform for people from different backgrounds to connect seamlessly with each other. Social media has brought the world closer together through its range of features that can help to simplify complex project management.
Let’s take a look at how social media can benefit project management in more ways than one.
1. Communication Management
Popular social media platforms such as YouTube, LinkedIn, Quora, and even WhatsApp are today widely accessed by professionals and common man alike. These platforms are easy to use and 24×7 available, which enables users to communicate without any time restrictions.
A project manager and his or her staff can leverage one or more social media platforms to support such a high level of communication. Social media apps have inbuilt features like audio calling, video calling, and text-based secure messaging. These communication modes can be used by team members for sharing and updating project-related information.
2. Project Updates
Social media has a huge and diverse user base and its agility of information can play a determining role in the management of project updates. Large and complex projects, especially, call for updating the right people at the right time, which is not a straightforward task.
Social media platforms can empower project managers and their teams to add efficiency to their updates management. These updates can be about tasks and project progress, issues faced, potential resolutions, team building activities, milestones, decision-making meetings, etc.
3. Training And Learning Management
One of the key areas where social media could be of great use in the project management field is the management of training and learning given to team members during the project. Lessons learned during the project can often get buried under heaps of paperwork, and most people do not take much interest in retrieving them.
Social media enables project managers and organizations to collect and store this vital piece of information through the active involvement of all participants. This information can be easily accessed, shared, and used by people for improving the quality of next projects by reducing risks.
4. Issues Management
Issues management often involves several team members and speedy actions. Therefore, involving the right people in time becomes crucial to mitigate the negative effects of issues arising within the project. Social media is an ideal tool to distribute information to selected people that are involved in a particular issue(s) management.
The information distribution could be for many purposes, which depends on the level of involvement, like:
- For keeping informed and involved considering seniority and managerial position
- People who are responsible for troubleshooting the issue
- Experts whose inputs are sought on managing the arising issues
- For capturing the learned lessons as a result of emerging issues
- For updating the risk management and project plans.
5. Financial Savings
For SMEs, financial savings are of paramount importance. Social media can help small and medium-sized businesses in saving money by minimizing the costs of traveling, communication (phone bills), and even accommodation.
Video conferencing systems allow team members working from different locations to be on a common platform and exchange information and ideas without having to travel to attend group meetings.
Social media has evolved from merely being a social interaction tool to a comprehensive and collaborative platform. It’s amazing how various social media platforms can help project management teams to be on the same page through swift and efficient communication, file sharing, collaboration, and much more.
There are enough strong reasons for you to merge social media with project management and reap dividends. If you are still not using social media in your project management efforts, it’s high time for you to start thinking about it.