Five Common Mistakes in the Use of Social Media for Projects

There is much debate over how social media and collaboration tools can be used to support projects. As I was writing a chapter in a book, the Shift Index Report by Deloitte University Press revealed that social media use is declining in professional environments. It is becoming increasingly difficult for people to make the most of online project management tools.
These are five common errors when implementing collaboration tools. Here’s how you can fix them.
1. Missing your audience
What if your target audience isn’t using social media? It’s not worth spending your time tweeting or creating blogs if there isn’t anybody listening. However, just because your stakeholders don’t log in to the project website every single day doesn’t mean that they won’t. You can still use social communication methods, but you must support your users and explain slowly the benefits.
You can fix it by: Find out what forms of communication your audience uses, and tap into them. If they aren’t using it yet, introduce them slowly to social media.
2. Technology for technology’s sake
This widget is amazing! We need a plugin to improve our intranet’s project status reporting dashboard. This is something I do often.
If you care less about the tool’s capabilities than its benefits for project management, you don’t need it.
Fix by: Only use technology solutions that solve real problems.
3. Technology can fix communication problems
Janet and Jared might not be able communicate right now, but they can if you add social media technology. Social media won’t solve your communication problems. If your team members don’t share information at the moment, there is something more important that needs to be fixed.
Make it work by creating an environment that encourages open communication and sharing. Add technology to the mix.
4. Over-indulging
A new project management tool with social features. You already have a blog and wiki.
All of this is sustainable! Project management is a full-time job. You can become overwhelmed if you add more activities to your already busy schedule. If you don’t have the time or commitment to manage your social media projects, don’t bother.
Fix by: Don’t overuse new technology.
5. Boring
Social media is all about personality, engagement, and authenticity. No one wants to see automated or computer-generated status updates on their internal microblogging platform. Even if they do, you will need edit them to ensure that the messages are clear.
Fix by: Write in your authentic voice even for short status updates. Be you