Social Media for New Employees and Interns in 2009

Today is our Buzz Builder orientation for the spring semester, so I thought I'd take a step back from brands and products for a bit to talk about ways to build your own inter-office community using social media sites.

1. Put everybody on Twitter! Encourage your employees to connect and share with each other, whether in or out of the office. Aside from just getting to know each other by following each others' twitter updates, you can use twitter to organize chat rooms during training sessions (use your own company #hashtag) and share important links and information publicly without having to flood everyone's inboxes.

2. Create a closed (or secret) group on Facebook. By creating an exclusive group for employees past and present, you provide employees with a secure place to share photos from company events and communicate over the discussion board. Administrators of the group can also send use to group to message all members quickly and directly across a platform employees will continue to use even after they leave the office for the day.

3. Create a LinkedIn group. LinkedIn is a great forum for professional discussion and networking. By establishing an official LinkedIn group for your employees or even specific groups of employees, you grant them more professional authority than they might otherwise have as non-affiliated individuals. This will help them to build connections with other company employees as well as current and potential clients.

4. Schedule fun meetups! Help make the "last one picked for dodgeball" scenario a thing of the past - at least in the workplace. Create an employee group on, allowing employees to post event ideas outside of work, open to anyone in the group who wants to join.

**5. Yammer (suggested by AllieZog) - If you want the Twitter effect with the privacy of a secret or closed Facebook group, consider claiming your company's network on Yammer! Though Yammer does charge for the administrative privileges, at just $1/mo/employee I'd say it can certainly be a worthy investment.

These are just a few ideas off the tops of our heads, but if you have any others, please leave them in the comments and I will happily add your suggestions to the list!

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