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SLA 2011: Using Social Media in the Workplace

The SLA Division of Government Information was the lead division for the Tuesday, June 14, 2011 SLA “Need to Know” program: Using Social Media in the Workplace. The speaker was Scott Brown, Social Information Group.

SLA 2011 - Scott Brown

Here are a few takeaways from the program:

  • Why do libraries/business say they don’t use social media?
    • We don’t have the time or staff.
    • Social media is blocked in our workplace.
    • Nobody in our workplace thinks we need it.
  • What are the real reasons behind lack of adoption of social media in the workplace?
    • Don’t get the dynamics or don’t see its importance
    • Don’t perceive the potential return
    • See it as scary/worry about making an error
    • Concerned about being overwhelmed by social media
  • How to address the stated issues with social media adoption:
    • No time or staff – Identify who on your staff has skills and/or passion that can be applied. Pick tools that integrate into what you are currently doing.
    • Blocked by our organization – Is it really and if so does that mean forever and ever or just right now? Are other forms of socializing going on such as forums or discussion groups? Keep monitoring the situation – things can change
    • Nobody thinks we need it – Says who? Is there anyone who is using it? Who are they? Are there ways you can show the value.
  • Are you waiting to be discovered or choosing to be discovered?
  • Levels of engagement include: lurking, sharing, reacting, participating, being proactive, real-time.
  • The work pilot is your friend. Establish both success and failure plans.
  • Use blogs to share your expertise, resources, perspectives. It’s not as time sensitive, but it is demanding.
  • Use Twitter to share expertise, provide pointers to information of value to you and your work, as an organizational news feed, as a quick value-added information stream. Twitter provides a low barrier to entry. It's quick to set up but it requires constant attention.
  • When using social media tools what should you share? Don’t just share your own stuff. Share information on resources, services, training, the promotion of others events, content, interesting or fun things.
  • Consider a blog or twitter feed as a newsletter.

Here are the slides from Scott Brown’s presentation: Using Social Media in the Workplace.

Also check out the slides from his other SLA presentation with Joe Murphy: 60 Apps in 60 Minutes. You can find Scott at The Social Information Group.

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