One area of social media PM that can have tremendous benefits is that of mining knowledge. Most projects are in a practice area that has a vast library of knowledge out there on the web, thanks to social media. It’s up to the project team to take the initiative to leverage knowledge from social media – knowledge that will help move the project forward. The initial phase of the project is an ideal time to identify social media outlets that might benefit the team and advance knowledge. These sites can be used, and others added, over the course of the project as phases unfold.
This is the fourth of a series of four articles on the subject of Social Media Project Management (PM), where we explore the variety of aspects of social media and their impact and utility on project management. This article, Part 4 in the series, “Leverage Knowledge from Social Media”, dives into the abundance of knowledge that we can gain by the exposure to knowledge and insights that social media generates. Part 1, “It’s All About Collaboration”, looks at the core component of social media – collaboration – and how collaboration, enhanced by social media, is enabling new possibilities for PM. Part 2, “Managing Social Media Is the Key,” looks at both the upside and downside of social media, and how project managers need to manage it for optimum benefit. Part 3, “Effective Social Media Tools,” considers the variety of social media tools and assesses which can be most useful on projects.
When you consider mining data to help your project, team, and stakeholders, consider the unique aspects that social media has over other more traditional media.
- User-generated content – Social media content is not ‘packaged’ and ‘polished’; if it is open and free access, and not controlled, it is genuine content expressed by real individuals – perhaps the exact individuals that you want to hear from.
- User profiles and identities – These are designed and maintained by the hosting social media organization and will serve up content considered to be of interest to the user. It you are mining data, this can be helpful, but can also screen out some content that you might find relevant.
- Social networks – These connect people based on profiles, interests, content, and participation, so they are a great way to tap into target communities of interest. It could be that on your project you would like to connect to a particular group of application users, or group that might have something else in common.
- Networks shape how people interact – As you mine data, keep in mind what is – and is not – being said. Even on social networks people can fear saying the wrong thing, for whatever reason, and you may need to dig deeper for the data. Don’t take what you see at face value, but take it as an input.
- Voting and reviews – These are extremely helpful ways to gather data on your own or to borrow from the data others have generated. Just be discerning in your interpretation of the data.
- Communication between organizations, communities, and individuals – Some sites focus on promoting certain types of communications and can be valuable in gaining insights from different points of view.
- Media comparison: When considering information sources, consider them all! TV, radio, paper-based, and social media all have their place. Consider each for what information you need base on quality, reach, frequency, interactivity, usability, immediacy, and performance.
- Social media is a dialogic transmission system – Consider that social media communications means many sources to many receivers, as opposed to mono-logic transmission, which is one source to many receivers.
Which types of social media provide a rich source of information that can help inform your projects/programs?
This Post is Part of the Series: Social Media PM
This series of four articles on Social Media Project Management (PM), explains how we explore the variety of aspects of social media and their impact and utility on project management.