Stakeholder engagement remains as important as ever in delivering successful projects. Regardless of project approach, communication, involvement and investment from stakeholders will drive how well a project can succeed. The better the understanding from all parties involved the more likely benefits will be achieved or exceeded.
Social media can provide a wide range of opportunities for stakeholders to be informed. It allows you to identify common interests, as well as express and share opinions, questions, queries and other collaboration. Selecting the most appropriate platform whether that be Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or some other social media is key to getting most out of the engagement of your stakeholders. Clearly different stakeholder groups appreciate different types of communication; so, working with stakeholders to select the right toolset for your project will colour your likelihood of success
Tools like Facebook and LinkedIn can allow for close groups. These allow stakeholders to share information, but also read output from project teams and act as bulletin boards and forums to share ideas. These formal groups may not appeal to all of your stakeholder population, it very much depends on the demographics of your project. Younger generations are likely to engage more with new social media and enjoy sound bite communication that could be provided through something like Instagram Snapchat or other tools available that are likely to be media rich. Even traditional platforms are increasingly using video and visual communication, rather than written articles and reports
With formal status reporting via paper reducing; this means that devices that receive communications will vary. The smartphone is becoming or has already become the device of choice. Social media tools and apps are available in many different forms. Mostly we only see the popular tools. But there is an increase in offerings available that can support close communities within a project, allowing positive collaboration in many different forms.
Communicating effectively with stakeholders has never been more important. Technology will continue to help in providing a wider range of solutions and appropriate offerings for the demographics of our projects.
Project and change managers need to be able to embrace social media and apps to help them engage affectively with the whole project team. and all stakeholders at every level of their project. It is clearly worth considering how to integrate social media like approaches to your stakeholder engagement planning and take it seriously in supporting you to deliver successful projects.