Social media websites have been around for a few years now and many of us struggle to see them as little more than a way to tell your buddies what it is that you had for breakfast. Of course, there will always be those strange status updates that let the world now just how important your new choice of jeans is, but there is another equally vital function for this social tool. Communication and sharing details is one of the lynch pins of successful project management, and this is where your social networking sites can help you achieve your goals. This article looks at a few ways that Facebook and its comrades are here to give your next project a real boost in the right direction!

How Social Are Your Project Team?

Nowadays many office workers are more interested in checking out their Facebook inbox than looking at their daily workload, and that is a real shame. However, social media is so user friendly and accessible that it can be used for far more effective activities. You can use these platforms to discuss press releases, real-time news issues that have an effect on your current project and a host of other vital happenings. Once you start to ignore the more trivial possibilities of social network tools, you can begin to employ these applications in your favour. Sadly, many workplaces have placed a ban on social networking in the office, and we think this is short sighted and pretty lame.

Sharing Your Stuff!

Any project manager worth their salt will tell you that one of the keys to a sound project is the necessity to share information. Without transparency you will surely be heading for a lot of misinformation and confusing results. Social media was developed with sharing information in mind, so why not embrace this platform? You can include the whole team in your private messages, status updates and pretty much any news item that you wish. And the web based application can be accessed on every net connected device, regardless of the operating system. Simply build your own community for each project and you can soon create that team spirit that is so essential for any serious project. Using Twitter for a team conversation is something that many people seem to overlook. By assigning the appropriate 3 tags you can easily run a search to collate the related conversations into a single workspace.

Community Matters!

A lot of people will keep their business and social worlds as far apart as possible, and this tends to make sense. You don’t really want your co-workers to see what you get up to on your days off, and they probably feel the same. But you can try a different social media site for your project and business affairs that works in a very similar way to Facebook. Yammer is known as Facebook’s business sibling and is starting to take off in a big way. It uses a similar status update tool that keeps the whole community connected in a real time way. Simply browse your co-workers timeline and you will soon gather that vital information you may have missed on your day out of the office. You can also group relevant comments into a thread and invite your team to add their thoughts on the matter. We love this social media site and believe it will soon be a part of every serious project manager’s toolset!

Convinced Yet?

We believe these are 3 great reasons why you should take a different view of social media at work, and pretty soon your projects will be running a little smoother thanks to this new partnership!

Today’s guest author, Fred Smith, is a civil engineer at BROTENT Technology Co., a structural engineering and fabrication firm based in Hong Kong. He is an avid blogger and enjoys sharing his views about various topics in his articles.