Social media at work

This afternoon I’ve been thinking about twitter. And I have played with Facebook pages lately to see how they are set up these days (not much has changed).

At least one of my colleagues in my new workplace is very keen for us to have a social media presence, and if you know me you know that I have started and then managed the social media presence for Europe Direct Leeds (Facebook/twitter) for a few years. I am excited that I will again have the opportunity to do that for an organisation. It can be very satisfying to start something from the bottom up and see it develop.

I am waiting to find out if there are any current guidelines at the organisation I work for, so hopefully next week we’ll know more and can start exploring ideas for names, layouts, voice. And maybe write our own guidelines and be pioneers! 😉

But here are some notes on why I think a social media presence is important (adapted and partly copied from notes done for Europe Direct with @pacowacoworld a while ago) – nothing too spectacular, just wanted to make a note of it for Monday morning and thought I might as well share…

What to tweet?

  • Organisation information, events, RSS feeds, updates on Facebook and webpages
  • Services, highlights, feedback, surveys
  • Posters/flyers/leaflet through
  • QI stuff from around the web, RT from others
  • Answer customer enquiries e.g. opening times, laptop use, joining etc. -> FAQs

How can tweeting benefit your organisation?

  • Keep up-to-date and find information (from the “experts” and peers)
  • Engage with customers and colleagues -> add value to their experience/get feedback
  • Sharing ideas/debating good practice/getting ideas from peers and other organisations
  • Provide meaningful support for colleagues who you may or may not have met in person
  • Make new contacts/professional relationships
  • Receive first hand recommendations of tools and resources to use in teaching and learning
  • Free marketing tool!
  • Learning new things about colleagues/bonding
  • Be aware of trending topics in the world (work and otherwise)
  • It’s where news are broken! -> you can react even faster
  • It’s short and quick to update
  • It’s free (apart from staff time)


  • Technology -> browsers, devices
  • Guidelines needed to be drawn up
  • training has to be set up
  • Shortness of tweets can be troublesome when you have more to say, e.g. event titles and descriptions. Shortness of tweets can also lead to misunderstandings
  • You might get involved into personal discussions (e.g. someone says this and that is rubbish and you want to react – very quick reactions on twitter possible! There is a “delete” button though!). Make sure you have a personal twitter account to do that with and not use the work one.
  • Undesirable followers – porn/spam but can be blocked
  • Only one person tweeting – responsibility -> needs sharing or organising for holidays etc.
  • Need RSS feed for events!
  • Time-consuming to set up and get used to it and find tricks etc to save time -> find a “professional” tweeter in your team to help get you started
  • Work/life balance: if you also twitter for personal use you might get drawn into tweeting for work when at home

That’s all I can think of at the moment… here’s a Prezi on using twitter for language learning.

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5 Responses to Social media at work

  1. i can always contract out europedirect

  2. I’m just writing social media guidelines and a policy at work. Happy to share!

  3. AlisonF says:

    Interesting post – I found this post quite useful, especially the link to further information about dealing with negative (not to be confused with abusive) posts / tweets:

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