Five Common Mistakes in Social Media for Projects

There is still much debate about how to best use social media and collaboration tools to help with projects. While I was writing a chapter for a book, the Shift Index Report from Deloitte University Press stated that social media use in professional environments is declining. People are finding it difficult to get the most out of online project management tools.
These are five common mistakes when implementing collaboration tools. Here’s how to fix them.
1. Missing your audience
What if your target audience doesn’t use social media? If there isn’t anyone listening, it’s not worth spending time creating a blog or tweeting. But just because your stakeholders aren’t logging into the project website every day doesn’t mean they won’t. Social communication methods can still be used, but you need to support your users and explain the benefits slowly.
Fix it by: Find out which forms of communication your audience uses and tap into them. Introduce them to social media slowly, if they don’t use it yet, with a program of training and education.
2. Technology for technology’s sake
Look at that shiny new widget! We need a plugin that enhances our intranet’s project status reporting dashboard. This is something I do so often.
You don’t need the tool if you care more about what it can do for you than how it will help with your project management.
Fix by: Only implement technology solutions that solve real problems!
3. Technology will fix communication problems
Janet and Jared may not be able to communicate with each other right now, but they will if you add social communication technology. Social media will not solve your communication problems. If your team members aren’t sharing information at the moment, then there is something more fundamental that needs to be fixed.
Fix it by: Creating an environment that encourages sharing and open communication. Add technology to the mix.
4. Over-indulging
A new project management tool that includes social features. You already have a blog, wiki, and intranet site.
Consider how sustainable all of this is. Project management is a full time job. If you add too many activities to what you already do, it could lead to an overload that leaves you doing nothing. Don’t try to manage your project’s social media initiatives if you don’t have the commitment.
Fix by: Use new technology in a controlled, measured manner so you don’t take on too much.
5. Boring
Social media is all about personality and engagement. Nobody wants to see status updates that sound robotic or computer-generated on your internal microblogging platform. Even if they do so, you will need to edit them to make sure that their messages are clear.
Fix by: Write in your authentic voice, even for brief status updates. Be yourself