In this week’s blog post, I’m going to talk about microblogging. You must think “God! Another tortuous word that only nerds use”. But I’m sure you are all familiar with Twitter and therefore already familiar with today’s topic! Let’s clarify with an example what exactly microblogging is and how useful it can be for businesses.
Airservices is a government-owned corporation responsible for the safe, secure and efficient management of the Australian airspace. To manage the air traffic operations, they provide the aviation industry with aeronautical data, telecommunications, navigation services and aviation rescue and fire fighting services.
The company in numbers:
- 3900 employees
- 950 air traffic controllers
- 2 centres in Melbourne and Brisbane
- 28 towers at international and regional airports
- manage traffic operations for 80 million passengers and four million flights every year
As you can imagine, safety is the most important consideration for this company. To ensure the integrity of Australian’s air navigation system it is therefore critical that the firm communicate with its different stakeholders, including Air Traffic Control (ATC), engineers, technicians, firefighters, defense and other external service providers, smoothly, accurately and in a timely manner. At the moment, all of this communication occurs either via recorded phone calls or emails.
Phone calls are instantaneous but on the other hand, misunderstandings can easily happen in spoken language. Emails are detailed and easy to access later on, but might lack of timeliness. Furthermore, going through emails overload is time consuming and can lead to employees loosing focus, and missing out critical information.
To enhance corporate collaboration and make sure that information flows seamlessly, I would advise Airservices to implement a microblogging strategy.
What is microblogging?
Blogging, microblogging, web 2.0 tools, social media… It’s easy to get confused by all these technical terms, so I’m going to try to explain what makes microblogging so special.
Microblogging allows subscribers to broadcast short messages to other subscribers of the service. Microposts can be made public online and/or distributed to a private group of subscribers. The appeal of microblogging is both its immediacy and portability. Posts are quick to write (typically 140 – 200 characters) and instantly consumable by readers on a variety of computing devices, including cell phones. To summarize, you can think of microblogging as a digital newspaper, which updates itself in real time after every single new posting.
What might be the benefits of microblogging for Airservices?
- Share latest updates instantaneously: Which is important for Airservices when they want to communicate about timely issues. For example, keep Air Traffic Control updated about service outage status.
- Cut down email volume and redundancy inherent in email communication: The message only need to be posted once and it is broadcasted to all concerned people.
- Information is easy to understand and precise: Because microposts are expressed in a short, informal format, employees need to go straight to the point and eliminate all unnecessary information.
- Keep record of conversations: Airservices can easily access their conversation feeds online, instead of having to listen to a recorded phone conversation. Information is all the more easier to find as threads can be organized into categories, using hashtags.
- Enhance overall company productivity through improving channels of communication.
Twitter is obviously the leading microblogging tool, however I would suggest Airservices to use Yammer as this tool is precisely designed for corporate collaboration and would probably be perceived as more secure regarding the disclosure of private information, since your Yammer network is only composed of people who share your company’s email address.
Some companies already managed to rip great benefits from the use of Yammer:
- Suncorp – Overcame barriers to collaboration, providing instant connection for people, teams, informal networks, communities of practice and other shared interest groups.
- Dachis Group – Dachis Group has woven Yammer into its daily workflow, allowing easy company-wide collaboration
- Philz Coffee – Uses Yammer for internal business communication on the management network, and as a virtual office where Philz employees can connect to one another on the Community network
To wrap up I will just talk about some key points to bear in mind while implementing this microblogging strategy:
- Define outcomes and benefits expected
- Create clear microblogging guidelines
- Train employees on how to use the tool
- Create a microblogging policy
Can you think of some other tactics to implement this strategy? Do you think that some dangers can be related to the use of such technology?